Providence Holy Cross Medical Center was one of three hospitals in Southern California, and the only one in the San Fernando Valley, to receive the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Gold Medal for supporting organ donation.
The honor came Sept. 30 in Texas, at a national conference on organ transplantation.
The Gold Medal was awarded to hospitals that met or exceeded national goals for organ procurement.
"It's a bittersweet honor for us to be part of something so important," said Bernard Klein, M.D., the hospital's chief medical officer. "Our gratitude goes to the remarkable families who, in their grief, donate loved ones' organs to give complete strangers a second chance."
Over the past year, surviving family members have agreed to donate organs of 10 patients at Providence Holy Cross who did not survive. Those donors provided 41 organs for transplant.
When a patient's death is imminent, Providence Holy Cross teams with the nonprofit OneLegacy to counsel family members about organ procurement.
Organ donations mean new hearts, eyes, skin, tissue, bones, kidneys and livers to patients across the nation.
Throughout OneLegacy's seven-county service area, nearly 2,400 organs were transplanted from 691 donors from July 1, 2007, to April 30, 2009.
"Thanks to the generosity of donor families and registered donors, our collaboration with hospitals and transplant centers, and the skill of OneLegacy's donation professionals, we are answering the needs of the more than 103,000 people nationwide awaiting life-saving transplants," said Tom Mone, executive vice president and chief executive officer of OneLegacy.
OneLegacy works across seven counties in Southern California, teaming with 200 hospitals, 12 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million.
It is the largest of the 58 federally designated organ recovery agencies in the U.S, and the largest such program in the world.