fbpx

Innovative approach nets MFDA chief Champion Award From Gift of Life Michigan

gala_phil_douma_cropped

‘It’s really part of our mission, too,’ says executive director

Seven years ago, funeral directors across the state got together with representatives from Gift of Life Michigan to discuss challenges and improve their working relationship. Phil Douma, executive director of the Michigan Funeral Home Directors Association

It was evident from that discussion with the Michigan Funeral Directors Association that there was a lot of frustration and misunderstanding, but there was some common ground, too.

“Our organization is about serving the needs of grieving families across the state,” said Phil Douma, executive director of the MFDA. “When those needs entail organ and tissue donation, that’s really part of our mission, too.”

Since then, through his leadership of the MFDA, he has worked to bring Organ Procurement Organizations like Gift of Life Michigan and the funeral services community together to overcome obstacles, better serve families, and offer the hope and legacy of organ and tissue donation to more people.

The lynch pin of that effort was a Donation Work Group established by the MFDA that allowed Gift of Life and the funeral service community to better collaborate on their problems and improve their services, overall.

“It’s been very successful in solving common problems, creating better standards and better serving both the funeral service and donation communities,” Douma said. “When we work together, both sides succeed.”

Douma was honored by Gift of Life Michigan recently with the 2020 Donation Champion Innovation Award for his efforts to support organ and tissue donation and to encourage more people to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. He is one of 15 individuals and three hospitals to be honored as Donation Champions. Other winners include:

  • Volunteer: Lydia and Ward Kimball, West Branch
  • Community partner: Wayne State University, Detroit
  • Donation storyteller: WLNS, Ch. 6 TV, Lansing
  • Hospital executive leader: Dr. Harry Anderson, St. Joseph Hospital – Ann Arbor
  • Hospital Educator: Wendy Lavin, Sinai Grace Hospital, Detroit
  • Secretary of State employee: Kelly Davis, Shepherd, MI
  • Medical Examiner: Dr. Joyce deJong, Medical Examiner
  • Honoring Life Through Donation Award: Chad Milton, Grand Rapids
  • Nurse: Elise Pavlick, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
  • Physician: Dr. Robert Beck, Bronson Methodist Hospital, Kalamazoo
  • Donation Liaison: Kathi St. Pierre, Northern Michigan Hospital, Petoskey
  • Funeral Professional: Rita Jordan, O.H. Pye, Detroit
  • Transplant center professional: Jennifer Fogarty, Beaumont Royal Oak
  • Multicultural Difference Maker: Terra DeFoe
  • Hospital Spiritual Care: Cindi Veldheer DeYoung, Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, Grand Rapids
  • Donor hospital of the year: Hurley Medical Center, Flint
  • Legacy Award: Dr. Theresa Jacobs, Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor
Read More Posts

Dr. Bedi, Rachel Kuntzsch and Sarah Scantamburlo are new Gift of Life Governing Board members

Gift of Life Michigan announces new board members

New board members will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table Gift of Life…

Read More
2023 was a record year for Gift of Life Michigan with 578 organ donors and 1,858 tissue donors

Gift of Life Michigan smashes record for organ donors in 2023

More than 213,000 people join Donor Registry Gift of Life Michigan helped a record 578…

Read More
Melinda Herrera, Neuro ICU nurse at Sparrow Hospital, will receive Gift of Life's 2024 Nurse Champion Award

Sparrow Hospital nurse earns statewide donation champion award from Gift of Life Michigan

Malinda Herrera becomes a living donor to offer hope Malinda Herrera has been a passionate…

Read More
Patrick Pruitt's eyesight was saved by a cornea donor when he was a young child.

Cornea recipient celebrates his gift of sight

I’m here because 32 years ago I received a life-changing gift. Sight is an easy…

Read More
Terri Finch Hamilton's father was a donor-in-spirit at the end of his life.

My dad is a ‘donor in spirit’

I was sitting in my living room, numb with grief, when the phone rang. My…

Read More
Malinda Herrera of Lansing donated part of her liver in August to help a colleague’s spouse.

New Michigan law protects health coverage for living organ donors

Legislation should remove financial fears for those considering helping others Gift of Life Michigan celebrates…

Read More
Scroll to Top