Sparrow wins Michigan Organ Donor Registry competition

Published: Jan. 6, 2019

LANSING, MI – Sparrow Health System has won Gift of Life Michigan’s 2018 Hospital Challenge by registering the most organ and tissue donors during a six-week statewide competition this fall. Sparrow was recognized at a ceremony today at the hospital.

Sparrow signed up 1,041 new donors – a record for the annual challenge. Detroit Medical Center came in second with 1,028 and Beaumont Health in Royal Oak placed third with 337.

The combined total for hospitals that participated was 3,180 – up from 1,691 in 2017.

“Sparrow took this friendly-but-important challenge very seriously and succeeded by motivating its staff and using creativity to reach into the mid-Michigan community,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ recovery program. “Michigan’s hospitals are national leaders in making the registry a priority and we’re incredibly proud of their commitment to helping fulfill the wishes of donors and their families. Together, we’re saving lives.”

Michigan hospitals have collectively registered more than 3,400 new organ, eye and tissue donors so far in 2018.

Steven Dexter, Nurse Manager at Sparrow Ionia Hospital, lead the challenge at Sparrow and – for the second year in a row - earned Gift of Life’s annual Donation Champion Award.

“We, at Sparrow, are extremely proud of this honor and thank the extraordinary Caregivers who consistently go above and beyond to promote the Organ Registry,” said Dennis Swan, President and CEO, Sparrow Health System. “It is tremendously gratifying to know that the families of donors have an opportunity to provide hope for enhanced lives to more than 3,200 Michigan Patients waiting for an organ transplant.”

Here are the complete results for the six-week challenge:

  1. Sparrow Health - 1,041
  2. Detroit Medical Center - 1,028
  3. Beaumont Health - 337
  4. Hurley Medical Center - 268
  5. Henry Ford Health System - 240
  6. Ascension Health Michigan - 186
  7. Michigan Medicine - 33
  8. Covenant HealthCare - 22

Anyone can join the Donor Registry, regardless of age or health history. To join or to learn more, go to or call 866.500.5801. As the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, Gift of Life acts as intermediary between donors, their families, hospital staff and transplant centers.