Organ donation advocate named “Lifesaving Partner”

2014-01-17T00:00:00Z Organ donation advocate named “Lifesaving Partner”Times Staff
January 17, 2014 12:00 am  • 

HAMMOND | Linda Kraiko, senior director of patient services at Franciscan St. Margaret Health Hammond, has been recognized by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network for outstanding achievement in addressing the critical need for organ and tissue donation.

Named a Lifesaving Partner by Gift of Hope, Kraiko was among 22 hospital, forensic and civic professionals and organizations recognized for helping Gift of Hope carry out its mission of saving and enhancing lives through organ and tissue donation. She received a Lifesaving Partners Award recently at a ceremony in Itasca, Ill.

Gift of Hope presents the awards annually to individuals and organizations who go above and beyond the call of duty to support the organization’s mission.

Kraiko was lauded for her steadfast devotion to removing all barriers to organ, eye and tissue donation at Franciscan St. Margaret Health campuses in Hammond and Dyer.

“Linda has been instrumental in implementing necessary policy changes within the Franciscan system to help make the process of organ and tissue donation easier to navigate, and her attention to detail has made the process of donation run smoothly at Franciscan’s two hospitals,” said Kevin Cmunt, president/CEO of Gift of Hope.

When Gift of Hope made the strategic decision to begin moving tissue donors from Northwest Indiana hospitals to Gift of Hope’s Itasca facility for recovery, “Linda made this happen at Franciscan St. Margaret Health," Cmunt added, "by convening key stakeholders from the hospitals, the Indiana Lions Eye-Bank and Gift of Hope to define the process and develop a new policy.

"Under her leadership, Franciscan St. Margaret’s became the first hospital in northwest Indiana to begin moving tissue donors from Indiana to Itasca for recovery to improve our ability to make more life-enhancing tissue available to people in need.”

As one of 58 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ and tissue donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million residents in its donation service area.

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