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Gift of Life Michigan breaks ground on major expansion of state’s Ann Arbor headquarters

Gift of Life Michigan

Surgical suites, learning center and donor memorial to be completed in Sept. 2015

ANN ARBOR – Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue recovery program, today broke ground on a $12.3 million, three-story expansion that will help it better fulfill its mission to save and improve lives through donation and transplantation.

The 40,786-square-foot project will connect two Gift of Life buildings into one complex on its 6.5-acre campus on Research Park Drive in south Ann Arbor. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in September 2015.

The centerpiece will be a surgical center, with four suites, that will be used to conduct organ and tissue recoveries. The surgical center will increase the efficiency of donations, free up operating room space at hospitals across Michigan and better serve donor families by shortening the process, on average.

“This project has been a long time coming, and we know much work remains,” said Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “When it is complete, Michigan will have a state-of-the-art complex that can facilitate even more donations.”

Other features of the expansion will include a more than 200-seat learning center, a memorial to organ and tissue donors and a “green” roof.

“I’m especially excited about the donor memorial,” Pietroski said. “These are the true heroes – the individuals and families who have turned death into a life-saving, life-improving gift for others. We will create an anchor for them, a sacred space where they can honor their loved ones. This will also serve as a reminder to us of the selflessness that makes our mission possible.”

Gift of Life was founded in 1971, making it the nation’s second oldest organ procurement organization, or OPO. It has always had its headquarters in Ann Arbor and been based at its current site since 2008. Last year, it facilitated 283 organ donors, whose gifts resulted in over 900 lives saved. Gift of Life also handled 916 tissue donors; their gifts helped tens of thousands of people who needed orthopedic procedures, skin grafts and other life-improving procedures.

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EDITOR’S NOTES:

  • Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of age or health history. Go to GiftofLifeMichigan.org or call (866) 500-5801.
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