KHSC awarded for championing organ and tissue donation

News / Critical Care
By Christine Maloney

Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) was recognized by Ontario Health’s Trillium Gift of Life Network for its outstanding efforts to integrate organ and tissue donation into quality end-of-life care.

KHSC is one of 23 hospitals this year to receive the Provincial Conversion Rate Award for meeting or exceeding the target conversion rate of 63 per cent. The conversion rate is the percentage of potential organ donors (patients who die in a hospital setting and are deemed medically suitable for donation) who went on to become actual donors. KHSC’s current rate is 67 per cent.

“This is the second consecutive year that we have been recognized for successfully converting potential organ donors into actual donors,” says Reg Hart, operational director of cardiac and critical care programs at KHSC. “In the past two years, over 20 organ and tissue donors through KHSC have improved the lives of many others.”

Cathy MacGillivary, a KHSC intensive care unit (ICU) social worker, is one of eight people throughout the province and the first person at KHSC to be recognized with the Donation Champion Award.

“I nominated Cathy because of her strong commitment to organ and tissue donation and transplantation,” says Susan Warr, organ and tissue donation coordinator at KHSC. “She has helped facilitate numerous donation discussions with families when planning end-of-life care for their loved ones in the ICU.”

“Kingston Health Sciences Centre has made an outstanding contribution to organ and tissue donation in Ontario and this award is a reflection of that important work,” says Judy Linton, chief nursing executive & clinical institutes and quality programs executive for Ontario Health. “The collaboration and partnership Ontario Health has with hospitals is critical to saving lives and we are so appreciative of their ongoing commitment.”

Today, more than 1,500 people are on the waitlist for a life-saving organ transplant, and every three days someone will die waiting. Over 90 per cent of Ontarians support donation, yet just over a third have formally registered their consent for organ and tissue donation.

Every Ontarian has the opportunity to demonstrate their support for this life-saving work by registering their consent to donate organs and tissue at,” says Linton.

One person who donates can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue. By registering consent to donate, you make your family aware of your decision to save lives.

Kingston exceeds the provincial registration rate, 35 per cent, with a rate of 50 per cent, ranking 55 out of 170 communities in Ontario. Visit the registration stats page on to find out more and to register.