Organ donation award not unusual, but trip to receive it is | Ascension

Organ donation award not unusual, but trip to receive it is

It's not unusual for Missy Hampel to travel to Kansas City to receive an award from Midwest Transplant Network for organ and tissue donation.

Hampel's leadership in promoting organ and tissue donation have led to award-winning outcomes at Ascension Via Christi's Wichita hospitals for the past six years and to her receiving an Excellence Award from MTN in 2018.

But what happened on the way to this year's in-person awards ceremony certainly was.

Hampel and Thomas Stipp, RN, nursing manager of Ascension Via Christi St. Francis's Trauma/Surgical ICU, were on the turnpike near Williamsburg, Kansas, when they came across a car crash that had just happened.

"We stopped and Thomas immediately joined a Wichita fireman and an Iowa state trooper in helping render aid," says Hampel. "After Thomas identified himself, they quickly stepped back and let him take the lead in caring for the man, who did not appear to have any significant injuries."

Hampel and Stipp remained until the Kansas Highway Patrol arrived and then traveled on to Kansas City, where they, along with Sarah Onwugbufor, RN, nurse manager for the dedicated Neuro Critical Care Unit at St. Francis accepted the Excellence in 2021 Organ Donation award on behalf of Ascension Via Christi.

"Out of more than 250 Kansas hospitals, we were once again recognized for being No. 1 in organ donation," says Hampel.

While that's impressive, so was watching Stipp put his skills and experience as nurse manager of St. Francis' Level 1 Trauma Center to work to provide roadside assistance.

"If you're in a wreck, I can't think of anyone better to be at your side than Thomas," says Hampel. "He's an experienced and conscientious nurse who does a wonderful job of serving our mission of providing compassionate care to all, both in the hospital and the community."

As for Stipp, he's just glad he could be there to offer aid and comfort until other help could arrive.

"For me, I was just doing my job," says Stipp. "I saw a wreck, a man on the ground and then safely pulled over to assess the man and the situation."