Advocate Condell nurse cited for organ donation efforts
News-Sun staff report | LAKE COUNTY NEWS-SUN
LIBERTYVILLE — A Lake Villa nurse has received regional honors for her efforts to facilitate organ donation and transplantation.
Advocate Condell Medical Center nurse Raeann Fuller, RN, CCRN, CNML, has been selected as a regional champion by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.
Fuller, 53, is the nurse manager in Condell’s Intensive Care Unit. She was chosen from a five-state region.
“I was really surprised and taken aback when I heard the news,” Fuller said. “I’m not doing anything more than what’s expected.”
A nurse for 33 years, and a tissue recipient herself, Fuller said she can’t take full credit for the recognition. “This was not accomplished alone,” Fuller said. I appreciate the honor but it reflects the dedication and work of so many people on our staff. Everybody gets the credit for this.”
Condell has facilitated eight donations so far this year. The hospital raises an honorary flag every time an organ donation occurs. It has facilitated more than 60 organ donations since 2005 and was recognized during a visit by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White last April.
Advocate Condell Medical Center partners with the Itasca-based, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network. Officials there say nearly 5,000 of the 108,000 people waiting for organs, are from Illinois. Every 13 minutes, another person is added to the national list. An average of 18 people will die each day waiting.
Gift of Hope Hospital Development Coordinator Debbie De Vito says Fuller is uniquely qualified.
“Everyone knows that Raeann and Advocate Condell are best practice,” De Vito said. “She does a great job educating her staff, and working with families.”
De Vito said that for each person who donates, as many as 25 lives can be saved. The most common donated organs are kidneys. Other organs include heart, lungs, pancreas, and small bowel.
Advocate Condell Vice President Patient Care, Mary Hillard, RN, MSN said Fuller is graceful in some of the most difficult situations.
“We get so many letters and comments from patients and families who have been touched by Raeanne’s compassion and empathy,” Hillard said. “She operates with skill and grace and helps families understand they are giving life to someone else through the donation. Raeanne is an asset to Condell and the community.”