This week’s Associate Member Spotlight is on LifeSource. We visited with Emily Larimer, Clinical Hospital Coordinator at LifeSource, to learn more about the business. Emily has a close connection with LifeSource after losing her son in 2015, who then became an organ donor and helped many people.
What services does LifeSource provide?
LifeSource is a non-profit organization that supports organ donor families, manages the donation process and educates communities to create a culture of donation. LifeSource is dedicated to saving lives and linking those awaiting the gift of life and also those who have been donors. LifeSource works with hospital and community partners to create relationships around the organ donation process and education.
When did LifeSource open?
LifeSource was founded in 1989.
How long has LifeSource been an Associate Member of SDAHO?
How has LifeSource grown or changed over the years?
Since LifeSource was established, donor registration has increased to 64 percent in the Midwest region. Nationally, the average donor registration rate is 54 percent. In 2017, South Dakota had 50 organ donors. Of those donors, 24 were deceased donors and 26 were living donors.
Where is LifeSource located?
LifeSource serves 7 million people who live in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin.
Does LifeSource have a business vision and mission?
Our vision is: through LifeSource everyone shares the gift of life. Our mission is to save lives and offer hope and healing through excellence in organ and tissue donation.
What is one thing people might be surprised to know about LifeSource?
As of April 5, 394 people are awaiting transplant in South Dakota. Of those, 353 are awaiting kidneys.
LifeSource has a Donate Life Ambassador program for people who have had interfaced with donation. This group shares stories and encourages people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.
LifeSource also recently signed a collaborative agreement with Indian Health Service (IHS) for tissue and eye donation. The first donation took place this year.
What are some interesting facts about organ, eye and tissue donation?
Probably the most amazing fact is that one donor can save or help up to 75 people! Age and health do not matter when it comes to registering to be a donor. And lastly, there is no cost to the donor or the surviving family for donating.
April is National Donate Life Month. Are there any special events coming up to help celebrate this month?
April 7 – Donate Life Day, a day to celebrate the importance and impact of everyone’s voice in helping create a culture of donation.
April 13 – National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, a day when the public is encouraged to wear blue and green, hold events and fundraisers and partner with local restaurants, malls, media, and community organizations in an effort to promote the success of organ, eye and tissue transplantation and the extreme need for registered donors.
How can people get in touch with LifeSource?
Western South Dakota
Emily Larimer, Clinical Hospital Coordinator
Eastern South Dakota
Cary Wencil – Hospital Liaison
What is LifeSource’s website address?
Lastly, and probably the most important question, how can people sign up to be a donor?
Go to the website www.donatelifemidwest.org/sd/ to sign up. Another way to sign up is when you get your driver’s license you can check the box on the form indicating you want to be a donor.