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Donor Family and Recipient Communications Best Practices

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Providing donor family members and recipients opportunities to communicate provides meaningful support for donor families. This session highlights successful tissue donor family and recipient correspondence programs, including process guidelines, resources, and key takeaways that are important for a writing program's success.

​Patricia Darrigan, CTBS

Patricia Darrigan is the Director of Public Relations and Communications at Legacy Donor Services Foundation. Her role with the Foundation is to develop and lead a communication and relationship-building plan that supports tissue donation activities in areas served by the organization. Some examples include donor memorials, bereavement/aftercare, donor awareness events, professional education for nursing and medical examiner staff, and public & media relations. 

 Ms. Darrigan has over 27-years of tissue donation experience. Prior to her career in tissue donation, she worked in the operating room for 13 years with a specialty in Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, and Open Heart, where human tissue grafts were often used to treat patients. Her love in caring for donor families has always been held in high regard, and she does what it takes to assure that the needs of donor families are met.

Deborah Hutt, MS

Director, Donor Family Services

Deborah has been with LifeNet Health since 2011 beginning her career as a Family Support Coordinator, working with families in the hospital at the time of their loved one’s death. She approached families for donation, provided education on donation, completed all necessary paperwork, and supported the family until their loved one went for procurement. In 2014 Deborah became the Manager for Donor Family Services and was promoted to Director of Donor Family Services in 2015. Prior to coming to LifeNet Health, Deborah served as Director of Children’s Ministries Family Ministries at two local churches and led a team of consultants in direct sales as an Advanced Director. Prior to that, she was an elementary guidance counselor with Norfolk Public Schools implementing the guidance program, writing curriculum, and securing grants to provide additional services to students within the school.

Deborah earned her Master of Science in Education from Old Dominion University and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Radford University. She is an active member of the AATB Donor Family Services Council and the AOPO Donor Family Services Council. 


Tissue Donor Family and Recipient Correspondence Best Practices
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5 Questions
Certificate of Attendance
1.00 credit  |  Certificate available
1.00 credit  |  Certificate available