Gift of Life begins recovering organs and tissue at new Ann Arbor surgical center

Gift of Life Michigan logo

ANN ARBOR, MI – A new era of organ and tissue donation has begun in the state with the first organ and tissue recoveries at Gift of Life Michigan’s state-of-the-art surgical center.

The $14.3-million expansion at Gift of Life’s Ann Arbor headquarters now houses an intensive care unit and operating rooms allowing Gift of Life, the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, to transfer donors to its facility and recover organs and tissues in-house.

This change will increase efficiency and better serve donor families by shortening the process, on average. Additionally, state-of-the-art equipment should help provide higher-quality organs for transplant. Gift of Life is now one of only a handful of organ procurement organizations nationwide to have its own surgical center for organ recoveries.

The new 40,000-square-foot wing also features a waiting area for families of donors. The building’s green roof (live plants) also is available as a place of reflection for employees and visitors.

The first donor at Gift of Life – for tissue – took place on May 9 and Tuesday (June 7) marked the beginning of organ donor cases. Eversight Michigan began recovering corneas at Gift of Life in May.

“We are thrilled to launch this next phase in Gift of Life’s nearly 45-year history,” said Rick Hillbom, Gift of Life interim chief executive officer. “We know this will better serve our donor families, hospital partners, transplant centers and waiting recipients.”

Key features of the expansion include:

  • 40,786-square-feet that connects two Gift of Life buildings into one
  • 4 surgical suites to be used for organ and tissue recoveries
  • Capability to do cardiac catheterization, echocardiograms, liver biopsies and pathologies in-house
  • A learning center for conferences and other events that can hold 200 to 225 participants

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Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s only federally designated organ procurement organization. It acts as the intermediary between donors, their families, hospital staff and transplant centers. It also promotes the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. To join, go to https://giftoflifemichigan.org/.

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