LifeLink Organ Recovery Center Opens at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital and LifeLink of Georgia have officially opened the first designated LifeLink Organ Recovery Center (ORC) in the state, and one of a few in the nation. The ORC, located within the hospital, will create an innovative organ recovery process that has been shown to improve donation and transplant outcomes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. The ORC also offers a designated space where donors and their families receive state of the art care, which will lead to countless recipient lives being saved and improved.

“The opening of the LifeLink Organ Recovery Center at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital marks an important step forward for Georgians who give the gift of life through donation, organ and tissue donor families, transplant recipients, along with hospital and transplant center partners,” said Dustin T. Diggs, FACHE, Senior Vice President/Executive Director, LifeLink of Georgia. “Having dedicated space and staff members who are devoted to this life-saving mission, will increase expertise and efficiency to better serve our community and save lives.”

The brand new, 9,588-square-foot facility includes two operating rooms, six ICU bays, a perfusion lab and two private rooms for donor families. It was designed with donors and their families at top-of-mind. The ORC offers concierge services to donor families, including arrival instructions and special escort on campus, assistance with accommodations, meal delivery, and spiritual or grief counseling services.

Services at the ORC – including the LifeLink of Georgia on-site kidney perfusion lab – will help increase the number and quality of organs that are transplanted from each donor, fully honoring each donor’s gift.

“Many families find a degree of comfort in knowing that their loved one is able to become a donor and help others,” said Jon Hundley, M.D., Surgical Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at Piedmont Transplant Institute and LifeLink of Georgia Associate Medical Director. “By managing donors in a way that leads to increased organs transplanted, we will be able to most fully honor their incredible gifts, and to help more people who are waiting for transplant.”

The numbers of people awaiting transplant in Georgia are significant. According to LifeLink, more than 4,400 Georgians are waiting for a transplant. Each year, almost 1,000 Georgians who were at some time listed for transplant die without getting one, often because they have waited so long that they are too sick to recover from transplant surgery.

Because of the generosity of 341 organ donors and their families, LifeLink of Georgia provided 1,030 organs for transplant during calendar year 2020. A record number of 515 kidneys were transplanted.

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with LifeLink of Georgia, and we are excited to open the ORC at Piedmont Atlanta,” said Patrick Battey, M.D., CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. “This Center allows us to continue to build on the success of transplantation in Georgia and to provide one-of-a-kind service and support to our patients and their families. This is a place where people will be cared for and supported, and lives will be saved.”