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MVHS Receives Center for Donation and Transplant Outstanding Hospital Outreach Award

UTICA, NY - The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) has received the Center for Donation and Transplant (CDT) Outstanding Hospital Outreach award for going above and beyond to support a culture of organ donation within the community.

This award acknowledges the staff at MVHS for its efforts to promote organ donation, educate the community about donation and its continuous support of CDT outreach efforts.

“MVHS has instituted national best practices in organ donation” said Donna A Sickler BSN RN, MVHS Quality professional and Organ Procurement liaison.“The MVHS staffs have repeatedly demonstrated a high quality of critical care skills, along with skills that are needed to care for and support the families during the donation process.”

Organ donation has increased from 17 percent to 27 percent in Oneida County this year. The support offered by MVHS has directly aided in the increase.

Susan Mckinstry, RN, Eric McKinstry RT and Michele Franklin, RN, who accepted the award on behalf of MVHS, have taken on leadership roles in the Donate Life Utica volunteer group and actively involve the community and the healthcare facility in outreach awareness.

Susan Mckinstry, RN works as a Critical Care clinician and CDT liaison and Eric Mckinstry works as a clinical coordinator of Respiratory Therapy.

Michele Franklin, RN is an RN in Critical Care and has been readily available to support grieving families and staff, offering support, guidance and understanding. She is instrumental in caring for potential donors and the DCD donors in the operating room.

“We are incredibly proud of the work that Sue, Eric and Michele do,” said Linda McCormack Miller, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer for MVHS. “Their commitment to this initiative is what has helped advance education and awareness throughout MVHS and with our patients and families.”

In addition to flying the Donate Life Flag year-round at the Donor Memorial Garden on the St. Luke’s Campus, MVHS participates in a number of different events celebrating Donate Life Month. MVHS employees and volunteers make blankets for organ donor families who say “yes” to donation or move forward with the loved one’s registered wishes to be an organ donor. The blankets are one small way to say “thank you” for their incredible strength and the life-saving gifts that are given.

Additionally, hospital staff participates in National Blue and Green Day in April, showing their support for donation awareness by wearing the Donate Life colors of blue and green.

CDT is a non-profit organ procurement organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation at 44 hospitals and in 30 counties in Upstate New York and Western Vermont. In addition to facilitating donation, CDT works with partner hospitals to educate the community about donation and the registry and share the incredible, lifesaving stories of those that have said “yes” to donation.

To register as a donor or for more information about how to get involved, please visit the Center for Donation and Transplant’s website at

Media Contact: 
Millie Condon
Communications Specialist