For Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Ventetuolo
Reno, Nev. Oct. 19, 2018. Washoe County Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner, Dr. Laura D. Knight, received the 2018 Professional Leadership Award from the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO). AOPO is a national non-profit organization that represents the fifty-eight federally-designated organ procurement organizations in the United States.
The Professional Leadership Award recognizes a medical examiner or coroner who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, innovative practices, and success to make a positive impact on the field of donation and transplantation.
“I am honored and humbled to receive national recognition for our program,” says Dr. Knight, “but the real heroes are individuals who register to be donors, and the families who choose to consent for donation on what may be the most difficult day of their lives, losing a loved one.”
Dr. Knight earned the award for her work creating a tissue and cornea donation program at the Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office (WCRMEO) which grants Nevadans the opportunity to make life-saving and life-improving donations. Dr. Knight was appointed Chief Medical Examiner and Coroner in January 2017 and has worked at the WCRMEO for more than three years.
In addition to the critical need for lifesaving organ transplants, 1 million tissue transplants are completed each year in the United States. Donated tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves can heal and save lives for patients facing life-threatening burns, torn ligaments, and musculoskeletal injuries. Nearly 50,000 people annually will receive the gift of sight through cornea donation.
The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office serves 19 counties in Nevada and California and handles more than 4,600 reported deaths each year.
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