Honoring the Donation Decision: Allocation and Perfusion Coordinator
“The donation process involves many professionals who are all passionate about helping others. I get to be part of that. This miraculous, elaborate, multi-step collaboration and process helps get people off the waiting list and gives them a second chance at life. That gives me the drive to keep coming to work. I feel privileged to do what I do each day.” — Jessina Wiley, Allocation and Perfusion Coordinator at Gift of Hope
Before donated organs can be transplanted, Allocation and Perfusion Coordinators like Jessina Wiley work with Gift of Hope’s Laboratory team to match the organs with transplant waitlist candidates. After medical and clinical staff members identify which organs a donor can offer to transplant candidates, Allocation Coordinators like Jessina are tasked with finding compatible recipients for each viable organ.
“Once we determine if a deceased person is eligible to donate, UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, generates and provides us with a list of transplant candidates ranked by medical urgency, waiting time and geography among other medical criteria,” Jessina explained. “We submit the list to our Lab, which then runs extensive testing to determine compatibility between the donor and the potential recipient.”
PASSION AND DRIVE
Jessina has always loved the surgical environment where hard work in the operating room can yield miraculous results. “It’s amazing what surgeons can do,” she said. “I was always intrigued by the ER. Some people see chaos in an emergency room. I see miracles. I wanted to be part of that.”
Armed with remarkable drive and determination, Jessina worked tirelessly to obtain both a Surgical Tech and a Health Information Technology degree, which gave her the skills and knowledge necessary for the work she does today. During her 14 years at Gift of Hope, Jessina has spent a year as a Tissue Recovery Coordinator and nine years as a Donor Resource Coordinator. Her current role as an Allocation and Perfusion Coordinator is where she plans to stay.
“The donation process involves many professionals all passionate about helping others, and I get to be part of that,” Jessina said. “This miraculous, elaborate, multi-step collaborative process helps get people off the waiting list and gives them a second chance at life. That gives me the drive to keep coming to work. I feel privileged to do what I do each day.”
A MOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE
As a mother of four, Jessina understands how difficult it must be for parents or guardians to talk about and decide whether to donate on behalf of their children.
“I want parents to know that their sons and daughters will live on in another human being through the donation of their precious gifts,” Jessina said. “To save and enhance the lives of others is such a selfless act. I hope parents who make the decision to donate find solace in knowing that their son or daughter helped someone in the most remarkable way one person can help another.”
Allocation and Perfusion Coordinators work diligently every day to honor the gifts offered by donors and donor families by exhausting every measure possible to find a compatible organ transplant recipient for every organ donated each and every time.