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UNOS Organ Center

UNOS Organ Center: Celebrating 40 years

The F.M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center

In continuous operation for four decades, the F.M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center has been described as the “heart” of UNOS.

Like a beating heart, it’s always at work—days, nights, weekends, holidays, during inclement weather and even national disasters—saving lives by coordinating with partners across the nation to match donors with patients on the transplant waiting list.

When requested, the Organ Center collaborates with organ procurement organizations, transplant hospitals and others to:

  • Assist in placing donated organs (primarily kidneys) for transplantation.
  • Assist in gathering donor information and running the donor/recipient computer matching process.
  • Respond to requests for support in transporting organs and tissues for transplantation.
  • Act as a resource to the transplant community regarding organ-sharing policies.
Organ center employee taking a call

Commitment to cutting-edge innovations

“The F. M. Kirby Foundation has been a proud supporter of UNOS for over two decades. Over $5.4M in grants have supported various research initiatives, programs, and capital projects, including the creation of the F. M. Kirby Foundation Organ Center. Our initial interest in UNOS stemmed from the Foundation’s commitment to cutting-edge innovations in the medical field that lead to increased health for the current populations and future generations. We feel strongly that our partnership with UNOS has ultimately been an investment in improving community health outcomes, furthering medical innovation, and saving individual lives.”

Justin Kiczek, Executive Director of the F.M. Kirby Foundation

Meet the OC team

Melissa LaneOrgan Center director Melissa Lane joined the Organ Center as an organ placement specialist in 2003, taking on increasing responsibility as a manager and then as acting director before becoming director in 2021. Lane provides expertise to all aspects of Organ Center oversight, assisting callers and placement specialists with questions or issues. She also maintains the Organ Center’s quality assurance efforts, and schedules the Organ Center’s round-the-clock staff.

Learn how the team works hand in hand with OPOs and transplant hospitals to place organs every day, around the clock.

In 2021, the Organ Center received more than 87,600 phone calls.

UNOS organ center team members work around the clock to help placed donated organs

Pictured below: Current and former Organ Center employees and leadership celebrating 40 years.

The UNOS Organ Center team celebrating 40 years

Video

A few minutes saved can make the difference

Previous Organ Center director and current director of Policy and Communications Roger Brown talks about how Organ Center team members improve processes in order to increase transplants.

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