The Golden Rules
Click Here to Learn More About Organ Donation
Shaun Golden, RN, BSN is a true leader in helping turn the loss of life for one family into a new beginning for another. As an integral member of BWH's Organ Donation Committee, Golden has had a national voice on the issue. At home, Golden, Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit nurse manager, serves as a resource for his colleagues and family members of potential organ and tissue donors.
Golden is one of 13 Donation Champions who worked with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) to voluntarily complete training focused on how to better recognize when to notify NEOB of a potential donor family and ways to help support those families. As a result, Golden and the other champions play a critical role in helping colleagues through the logistics, as well as providing support for individuals suffering the hardship of losing a loved one.
“Shaun is my right arm,” said Galen Henderson, MD, director of Neurocritical Care and Emergency Neurology in the Department of Neurology and chair of the hospital's Organ Donation Committee. Henderson explains that Golden is a true “super star” on this front and has contributed input on a national level at meetings of the Organ Donation Collaborative.
BWH was invited by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to participate in this national collaborative sponsored by the Health and Human Service Secretary and HRSA for the leading hospitals in organ donation to share best practices and processes. “The goal is to increase the number of successful donations, with a distinct focus on the donor family,” said Henderson.
Golden and Henderson have been to two national meetings and look forward to the third meeting in May. “Shaun has really done a good job of bringing back what we learn and put it into practice-particularly those programs and initiatives that support families,” added Henderson.
The efforts of Golden and others at BWH who play a role in helping pass on the gift of life are particularly appreciated this time of year. April is National Donate Life Month-a time to raise public awareness of the critical need for organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donation. The extension from a week-long celebration of National Organ Donation Awareness Week to a month-long observance of National Donate Life Month (beginning in 2003) underscores the national impact of donating not only organs and tissues, but also marrow and blood.
“Through it all, we as nurses have to support the families of the organ or tissue donor. This is an extremely difficult time for them to cope with the loss, never mind making decisions beyond their immediate circumstances,” said Golden, who has held leadership positions in BWH's Neuro ICU since it opened eight years ago, and is highly impressed by NEOB's efforts to approach and work with families through this important process.
“We look to Shaun and the other champions to help our cause and bring about the opportunity of life to a growing number of families,” said Sheila Harms, donation coordinator, New England Organ Bank.