LifeSavers Series: Betsy Madsen

At LifeCenter Northwest (LCNW), collaborating with local hospitals and medical centers is an essential part of fulfilling our mission of working together to save lives through organ and tissue donation. These partnerships literally make donation possible. From individual patient care to coordination and communication between various medical teams, we are dependent on our colleagues within the hospital to help facilitate the gift of life and serve the communities in our region. The importance of these relationships cannot be stressed enough, and here at LCNW we want to recognize our amazing donation partners for all their hard work. In an effort to do this, we established the LifeCenter Northwest LifeSaver Award, presented monthly, to honor those who have made outstanding efforts to collaborate with LCNW. Recipients demonstrate a commitment to improving donation outcomes by providing time, energy, and expertise to ensure the best possible donation program at their hospital. We are proud to announce our March LifeSaver Award winner, Betsy Madsen of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital (SHMC).

Betsy Madsen-SHMCEarly this year, the family of an organ donor at SHMC spent many long hours at their love one’s bedside while our teams worked towards setting a time for the recovery. The family knew that because the patient was brain dead, the heart would be stopped in the operating room, just prior to the recovery, to ensure a life-saving transplant was made available to someone in need. Though supportive of donation, the idea of not being with their loved one at that time was a difficult thing for the family to imagine.

As part of the organ evaluation process, an echocardiogram was ordered, which was performed by sonographer Betsy Madsen. Once learning of the family’s focus on their love one’s heart, Betsy went above and beyond to ensure the study was performed at a time when all the family was present. During the study, she took great care in finding the perfect “heartbeat” sound for the family members to record, and ensured they all were able to see the heart beating. Providing this moment, a time to say goodbye, and the opportunity to listen to their loved one’s heart beat when their grief becomes overwhelming is a true demonstration of care and compassion for this donor family. Betsy was a true gift to this family and to the LifeCenter Northwest team. Thank you for your service, Betsy, and helping us serve donor families in Eastern Washington.