AlloSource Recognized for Outstanding Corporate Wellness Program, Including its On-Site Health Clinic  |  July 25, 2014

DSC_0452AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures, and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts, received a pair of wellness awards from Cigna and the Denver Business Journal.

AlloSource was selected for the second year in a row as Denver’s Healthiest Employer, but this time in the large company category, as judged by the 2014 Denver Business Journal Healthiest Employers awards program. In addition, the company received the Cigna Well-Being Award for Outstanding Culture of Well-Being.

The Denver Business Journal competition recognizes companies of all sizes and industries that commit to making wellness a reality for their employees by creating and implementing wellness programs, as well as educating and promoting wellness in the workplace.

The Cigna Well-Being Award for Outstanding Culture of Well-Being recognizes companies committed to creating a culture of health through corporate wellness programs. The Well-Being Award acknowledges employers that positively impact the health and wellness of their employees.

“Supporting and fostering the health and wellness of our own employees has always been a top priority because our people are the key to our success,” said Thomas Cycyota, AlloSource President and CEO. “Our commitment to wellness is even more critical today amidst rising insurance costs. Each year we make our wellness offerings more comprehensive, so we are honored to be recognized for our programming and results.”

The AlloSource wellness program provides opportunities that engage employees and their families to optimize their health. It uses an outcome-based system along with insurance premium discounts and positive reinforcement through multiple prizes. While the program is a constant stream of activities, the largest wellness activity of 2013 was the opening of the AlloCares onsite health clinic.

AlloSource employees and their dependents have access to the AlloCares Health Clinic as part of the company’s medical plan and wellness program. With just over 450 employees, it is noteworthy that AlloSource offers an on-site wellness facility, which is usually only done by much larger organizations. The clinic is open five days a week, including Saturdays, for both well and sick visits, and provides on-site lab and pharmacy services.

AlloSource is already seeing a reduction in health claims of 7% and prescription costs of 30% while the Health Clinic has been open for just under a year.

The Denver Business Journal and presenting sponsors Cigna, Humana and United Healthcare awarded the top five healthiest companies in three size categories during a luncheon July 23. Cigna presented its Outstanding Culture of Well-Being honors during its forum on July 17.

Creative “Everyone’s Hot for My Body” Campaign Encourages Donor Registration  |  July 21, 2014

The Midwest Transplant Network in Kansas City launched a new “Everyone’s Hot for My Body” campaign to encourage people of all ages to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The eye-catching advertisements will be featured in driver’s license offices and promoted via social media.

Kansas and Missouri residents can register online by visiting http://www.yestheywantme.com/.

Watch the video to learn more about this campaign or read about it here.

AlloSource Sponsors Joey Gase in NASCAR Nationwide Race to Drive Awareness for Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation  |  July 18, 2014

IMG_9908AlloSource is sponsoring Joey Gase, a NASCAR Nationwide Series Driver and donor son, in the NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway on July 19.

Gase combines his racing career with his passion for raising awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation by driving a unique racecar featuring photos of donors.

When his mother, Mary Jo Gase, passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm, Gase, who was just 18 at the time, made the decision to donate her organs and tissue. The experience inspired him to use his racing career as a platform to promote organ, eye and tissue donation. AlloSource processed Mary Jo’s tissue for transplant and it enhanced the lives of 59 people throughout the country and in Korea.

Gase’s car will feature Dylan Richardson, a seven-year-old boy from Illinois who saved three lives through the donation of his heart, kidneys and liver. Gift of Hope, the Organ Procurement Organization serving Illinois and Southwest Indiana, coordinated the donation. The Richardson family often shares their story of how donation offered comfort during their time of unimaginable grief.

“Joey visited AlloSource earlier this year and we were so inspired by his dedication to organ and tissue donation that we wanted to sponsor him and help him promote donation awareness,” said Thomas Cycyota, President and CEO of AlloSource. “We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Dylan and his family, whose generous decision to donate provided hope in the midst of an indescribable tragedy.”

Gase currently sits at #20 in NASCAR Nationwide driver standings. The NASCAR Nationwide Series EnjoyIllinois.com 300 race at Chicagoland Speedway will be televised at 8:30 P.M. (Eastern Time) on ESPN2.

Nonprofit Founder Grateful for Tissue Transplant  |  July 10, 2014

Dennis HautAs the founder and CEO of Unity House of Davenport, a nonprofit organization providing housing and support for recovering addicts, Dennis manages seven recovery houses and an average of three new residents per week.

A voluntary deployment to Iraq in 2003 as a Department of Defense civilian inspired Dennis to open Unity House. Upon his return to the U.S., he began converting the house he was renovating into a place for recovering addicts as a way to give back to the community.

Running Unity House requires Dennis’ health and attention, both of which were hard to fully dedicate while Dennis endured the pain of a lifelong foot condition.

Dennis was 14 years old at the time of his first surgery to correct a bone in his foot that was out of place. Subsequent corrective surgeries over the years failed to heal the painful condition, and arthritis started to cause additional complications. His doctors tried cortisone injections, but the pain persisted.

His doctor recommended a surgical solution and Dennis underwent a procedure to prevent the arthritic bones from rubbing against each other. His doctor used cancellous chips, an allograft created from donated bone, during the surgery.

I feel happy about the tissue transplant as a bit of this person lives on in me as I go through the rest of my life endeavoring to do God’s will and help others,” said Dennis. “I believe this is the same spirit in which the donor gave to me.”

Dennis’ recovery was slow and steady. He could not put any weight on his foot for six weeks, and then transitioned to crutches and a cane for six months following the surgery.

I am able to walk today with no pain at all,” said Dennis. “I now use a stationary bicycle for exercise and I take our little dog for walks around the block. I honestly never dreamed I would be able to do this. I am so much happier today and I will be eternally grateful.”

Unity House has served over 2,000 residents since 2004, and the tissue donation offered by a generous donor will help Dennis continue to provide resources and support to those in need.

Donated Eye Tissue Advances University of Iowa Research  |  July 9, 2014

The University of Iowa and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank work together to ensure donated eye tissue, if not used for transplantation, provides invaluable insight for researchers looking into common and rare eye diseases.

Donated tissue is crucial to the work of the research team because the human eye is unique, and therefore not easily replicated in animal models. The researchers study donated eyes and eye tissue to better understand macular degeneration, stem cells and the impact of certain diseases on different areas of the eye. The work of the University of Iowa and the Iowa Lions Eye Bank highlights one of the many ways donated tissue plays a role in scientific advancements.

Read more about the University of Iowa’s work with donated tissue here.