Hello! I am Jennifer, the new intern at Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. I’m attending Chicago State University – College of Pharmacy and completing a rotation for public health. My goal is to learn the steps involved with the whole process of organ donation. Hospital Development is a department of Gift of Hope I have yet to learn about due to the fact that most of the specialists’ time is spent out in the field. To relieve some of my curiosity I’ve interviewed Christopher Floss, a donation specialist, to help me learn about what Hospital Development is all about. He shared with me some of his responsibilities and how he contributes to the whole process. I hope you will find it as interesting as I did. – Jennifer
Q: What’s a typical work day like for you?
A: I recently started in my current position after serving Gift of Hope as a Family Support Services Coordinator for two and a half years. In that capacity, I was responsible for approaching families who are in the position of making end of life decisions. I guided them through the consent process and remained their “contact person” throughout the case time. In my new position, I will remain an active part of our efforts to reach out to families; however, I will be focusing my energy on ten larger hospitals, building relationships with staff so that when referrals are made we can facilitate the various components of our processes as efficiently as possible. As well, I will be the “first responder” to referrals made in my region of hospitals, helping hospital staff coordinate the best time and place to approach the topic of donation with donor families.
Q: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
A: The most challenging part of my job is helping families make the best decision regarding donation in a very difficult time in their lives. Sometimes it’s not easy to navigate the emotions that are present in such difficult times in their lives. However, I do my best to ensure that (1) a family is well-informed of the life-saving gift they can provide to a potential recipient and (2) they are cared for regardless of their decision.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part?
A: The most rewarding aspect of my job is that I have the opportunity to help save someone’s life by helping a donor family say “yes” to donation. As well, I sometimes marvel at how a donor family can receive much consolation and healing by consenting to donation on behalf of their loved one.
Q: What motivated you to get involved with the donation community through your position at Gift of Hope?
A: I’ve always felt the need to help others achieve their highest potential by giving of themselves to others in need. That’s what motivates me to contribute to the mission of Gift of Hope. I truly believe that a donor family’s gift through organ and tissue donation is someone else’s hope for life. Being an instrument in that “gift of hope” is what motivates me to do my best in my job.