Congratulations to Rebekah Risner, RN, a Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center nurse who was recently awarded the Nurse Champion Award from Lifeline of Ohio.

Lifeline of Ohio’s Champions for Hope Gala, held in October, recognized individuals and organizations for their dedication to their role in saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. The award winners were determined by looking at five key tenets that motivate the mission of organ donation: advocacy, collaboration, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion and compassion. Individuals were nominated by peers and colleagues.  

“Mercy Health is proud of our associate who lives our Mission every day. Rebekah is an example of one of our amazing team members who goes above and beyond to impact our patients, their families and our community,” said Ronda Lehman, president of Mercy Health – Lima. “With our in-house Transplant Clinic, in partnership with Ohio State University and our Health State Alliance, St. Rita’s has taken an even bigger role in helping save lives through organ donation and transplant.”

Rebekah inspired her colleagues at St. Rita’s with the theme of creating second chances through organ donation. In April of 2022, to coincide with Organ Donation Awareness month, she organized an event with the theme, “Wild About Organ Donation.” This event provided information on donation, engaging hospital team members through Donate Life awareness. The event resulted in 18 new registered donors. 

Rebekah also created a space called “donor corner” that shared hospital stats, goals and outlined ways hospital staff could help St. Rita’s reach organ donation goals. With her efforts, she was also able to help St. Rita’s earn the Platinum Award, the highest recognition for donation promotion efforts through the Workplace Partnership for Life program sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration. 

“We are so pleased to be able to honor our partners for the important roles they play — from registration of the donation decision to caring for recipients, our donors and their families and patients waiting for their lifesaving gifts,” said Andrew Mullins, CEO of Lifeline of Ohio.

Lifeline of Ohio is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering communities to save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation with the vision of communities and individuals embracing organ donation. 

Organ donation was brought close to home in July of 2020, when the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center Comprehensive Transplant Center clinic opened at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center. Ohio State Transplant Care at Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center provides pre-transplant evaluation and education for kidney, liver and lung transplantation, and anticipates expanding to include heart transplantation in the near future. It is a direct result of the two hospital systems’ Healthy State Alliance, formed with a vision to improve the health of the communities we serve by tackling Ohio’s most critical health issues. Increasing access to transplant care was identified as an initial area of focus.