About Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is proud to serve as the not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and services to families of donors in the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Since our inception in 1986, we have coordinated donations that have saved the lives of more than 26,000 organ transplant recipients, and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 57 organ procurement organizations that make up the nation’s organ donation system, we work with more than 180 hospitals in our donation service area.
The decision to become an organ and tissue donor offers a precious gift to others: the hope for a new life. That’s why we work hard to advance our mission: to ensure the gift of donation makes hope possible for the thousands of people waiting for lifesaving organ and life-enhancing tissue transplants.
Our Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network communicates that the gift of donation makes hope possible for the thousands of people waiting for lifesaving organ and life-enhancing tissue transplants.
In our logo, the brushstroke above our name represents the life that connects a donor’s gift to the hope it provides the recipients of that gift.
That every opportunity for organ and tissue donation is successful.
To save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation.
- Passionate People. We believe our work is sacred, and the impact we have on people is extraordinary. We are determined, dedicated, motivated and excited to grow, learn and help others. Our devotion and work ethic inspire trust, credibility and respect from our peers, external partners and donor families.
- Outstanding Teams. We support and include each other, are kind to one another and are of service to each other because our success is a direct reflection of our collaboration. We are respectful of others, support one another and strive to maintain open and honest communication.
- Compassionate Service. We meet our donor families at a time of deep loss. We are aware that we can affect that moment for them in a positive way. We see donation as an opportunity to help families heal and recover and to find hope and life after a death.
Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network was incorporated on July 7, 1986, to coordinate the recovery and transplantation of donated organs and tissues in the northern three-quarters of Illinois and northwest Indiana. The organization, then called Regional Organ Bank of Illinois, began operations on June 1, 1987. We are designated as a qualified organ procurement organization (OPO) under the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984.
As a not-for-profit organization and one of 57 OPOs that make up the nation’s organ donation system, our mission is to save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation. We work with 180 hospitals and hundreds of partner agencies and advocates to serve the 12 million people in our donation service area. Since 1986, this work with Illinois and northwest Indiana organ/tissue donors and their families has saved the lives of more than 26,000 organ transplant recipients. Together, we have improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients.
In 2015, Gift of Hope formed the Illinois Transplant Fund (ITF), a not-for-profit organization to help eliminate the lack of health insurance as a barrier to life-saving organ transplants. ITF’s mission is to provide qualified patients with insurance premium support that allows them access to organ transplants and follow-up care.
In 2018, Gift of Hope established the Gift of Hope Community Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization raising charitable support and cultivating philanthropic partnerships to support Gift of Hope’s work in two areas: to educate the public about life-giving donation, and advance scientific research that can improve transplant patient outcomes and one day eliminate deaths on the transplant waiting list.
As healthcare administrators and professionals, trained clinicians and community educators, we are responsible for:
- Evaluating potential donors for medical suitability
- Discussing donation with family members of potential donors
- Coordinating the organ and tissue donation process;
- Providing support and follow-up information to families of organ & tissue donors
- Educating the 11.7 million residents in our service area about donation and how to register as donors
- Educating healthcare professionals about their roles in donation
- Assisting hospitals with the development of policies and procedures that facilitate the donation process for staff and families.
In managing the recovery, care and transportation of donated organs to transplant patients, we work closely with Illinois’ ten transplant centers:
- Advocate Christ Medical Center
- Children’s Memorial Hospital
- Loyola University Medical Center
- Memorial Medical Center
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital
- Rush University Medical Center
- OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
- The University of Chicago Medical Center
- University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago
- Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital
- We also work with other transplant centers and other OPOs through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) to provide lifesaving organs for patients awaiting them. UNOS is the federally mandated registration center for organ transplant candidates in the United States. UNOS’ computer-based system matches donated organs with patients in need, in accordance with strict federal guidelines intended to ensure equitable distribution.