Enloe honored in tearful ceremony

Success of its organ-donation program noted again

Photo By Christine G.K. LaPado

Organ donation is always emotional. Just ask Jess Chairez (pictured), of Sacramento, who on Monday (Dec. 15) presented Connie Rowe, vice-president of nursing at Enloe Medical Center, with an Organ Donation Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that recognized the hospital for averaging 3.75 organs per donor over 12 consecutive months.

Chairez lost his 24-year-old son Joe to a brain aneurysm. He praised the efforts of emergency medical personnel and doctors and nurses who “did everything to help my son.” He expressed pride that he was able to honor his son by donating his organs, which saved four lives.

“I think you guys are so awesome,” Chairez said to Enloe staff in attendance, choking back tears.

Rowe received two medals on the hospital’s behalf during a short ceremony in the Enloe Conference Center on The Esplanade. The other recognized Enloe for securing organ donations from 75 percent or more of its eligible donors.

Enloe was one of 412 U.S. hospitals receiving the Medal of Honor this year. This is the second year in a row that it has received the award.