Friday, May 13, 2011 - Broward General Medical Center Honors Life-Saving Organ and Tissue Donors

Fort Lauderdale, FL - On April 5, a luncheon was held at Broward General Medical Center in honor of organ donors and their families and transplant recipients.

Broward General Medical Center, together with the Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency (LAORA), in 2010 was able to save more than 50 lives and perform 2,000 tissue grafts thanks to organ and tissue donation. BGMC recently received the Medal of Honor from the Department of Health and Human Services for its success in increasing the number of organs available for life-saving transplants, in addition to achieving and sustaining national goals for donation, including a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors.

The luncheon was part of an organ donation awareness project created by organ donor Karen Brooks. Brooks became an advocate for organ and tissue donation after donating one of her kidneys to her sister, saving her sister’s life.

Recognizing the need to increase awareness about the importance of organ donation, Brooks channeled her efforts into a project called “Donor by Choice…Not By Accident”. The project combined Brooks’ commitment to creating awareness about the importance of organ donation with her passion for riding motorcycles. Brooks created a motorcycle route beginning and ending in St. Petersburg, Florida, enabling her to stop at six South Florida hospitals, including BGMC, on her motorcycle mission.

The luncheon was a unique opportunity to bring together transplant recipients and the families of organ donors. “We are deeply grateful to the donors and their families who have given such an extraordinary gift to others,” said Audra Lopez, Nurse Practitioner Adult Liver Transplant Program at Broward General Medical Center.  “We hope that ‘Donor By Choice…Not By Accident’ will help inspire more people to become organ donors.”

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class health care services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information, visit

(L to R): Cindy Boily, Audra Lopez, Barbara Sverdlik, Barbara Ensign, and Patricia Houck.