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22. #50YearsofTransplant: Yvonne Sun

It's Health Information Management Week! This Wednesday, we are sharing the story of a BCT staff member who has been working here for over 18 years. She doesn't work directly with patients but many people depend on her to complete their own daily tasks.
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What is your role within BC Transplant?

"My role at BC Transplant is an Analyst of Outcomes and Data Quality; I am responsible for reporting and metrics. Right now, I am the only one on the team that can pull these statistics but hopefully we will be hiring someone else to join me soon."

Why did you decide to do this as a career?  Do you have any personal connections to the transplant community?

"I actually don't have a personal connection to transplant but I have certainly gained one throughout my time here at BC Transplant. It has been 18 years since I first started working here.  I originally took this job as it was a great opportunity; it was the perfect place to combine my medical background from China and the technical skills I learned here in Canada after I moved here."

What is the most rewarding part of working for this organization?

"There are two main parts that make it worth it to come in every day. First part is the work that is done within this organization. It is truly amazing to know that all the work that is done here ultimately saves lives. There is nothing better than that, having a job where people are working as a team to support one another to give someone else a second chance is an absolute privilege. Secondly, the people, everyone is very passionate towards the cause and they are very kind. I communicate and pull reports for many people within our organization ranging from the executive director, the communications team, quality and assurance as well as doctors. Everyone is very pleasant to work with and very appreciative of the work that is done."

Can you explain what a day in the life of a transplant looks like for you?

"We have a database that holds all our patient information which includes statistics ranging from before registration, time waiting for a transplant, transplant information, post- transplant details, lab results and more. Various members from the Health Information Management team enter all of these details into our database. My job includes compiling data and sending it to many different stakeholders for reports, presentations, research, funding and many other tasks relevant to the transplant world. Many people at BC Transplant also need this information to do their jobs as well, this includes the executive team, statistics to measure and share current updates, reporting to PHSA, etc. It is a crucial process; there are some times in the year when it is extra busy but generally this information is always needed for day to day tasks around the medical community."

Having seen the miracle of transplant so closely, how important is organ donation and discussing one's decisions with family and friends?

"It is known that you can potentially save up to eight lives so it is a good idea to register your decision. It also makes the decision easier for the family if you've registered and they know that this is your decision. Imagine how difficult it would be to make this decision at a tragic time like the death of a loved one. One thing I find very important is just raising awareness for organ donation in general because sometimes hospital referrals go a long way. We have seen that many times, when the doctor refers a patient to BC Transplant, we find out they aren't registered but the family still decides to donate their organs. Therefore, if people are generally more aware about organ donation, even if they haven't registered yet, awareness can still result in many lives saved."

What would you say are the common problems around organ donation registration and what is your insight around this?

"I think first and foremost, people don't feel an urgency to register their decision. Many people know about organ donation but they don't bother registering because they don't think they'll die any time soon. Either way, I still think it's important for people to take a step back and remember how important this is. Another reason why I know some people don't register is due to religion."

What is your perspective on BC's milestone of 50 years of donation and transplant?

"I have been here for 18 years so it is really interesting to see the growth of this organization. Since 2001, the processes have been the same for the most part but of course there have been some changes in roles and responsibilities, locations, etc. Throughout the 50 years, we can see an increase in donor registration and more lives have been saved as well. I look at data everyday so I can see these changes. We went from 200 lives saved a year when I first started to over 500 lives saved in 2018.  As the years go by, we are able to save more lives which is amazing."

SOURCE: 22. #50YearsofTransplant: Yvonne Sun ( )
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