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Published on January 14, 2016

LifeSource North Dakota, Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, Announce Eye Donation Expansion

Collaboration means better service for healthcare providers, patients, families and communities in North Dakota

January 14, 2016 - Grand Forks, ND - When you walk into Altru Health System, you can't help but notice the Our Living Legacy wall in honor of organ, eye and tissue donors. Launched in April 2014, the display was the first in the state recognizing the gifts of life and sight through a permanent installation. It's the same dedication and leadership that prompted the hospital to be the first in the state to partner with LifeSource North Dakota to provide full service, locally-focused organ, eye and tissue donation options to their patients and families.

The new service model is made possible through a collaboration of LifeSource North Dakota and Minnesota Lions Eye Bank. LifeSource North Dakota has served the state since 1989 through organ donation and since 1999 in tissue donation; Minnesota Lions Eye Bank has more than 55 years of eye donation service in the state. The new partnership means joining together two strong, locally-focused organizations to better meet the needs of the generous North Dakotans who say yes to donation. Nearly three out of four North Dakotans are registered donors.

"North Dakotans are incredibly generous and the state has one of the highest donation rates in the country, and we are honored to help fulfill the generous decisions of the patients and families who choose to save and heal lives through the gifts of organ, eye and tissue donation," shared Susan Gunderson, CEO of LifeSource North Dakota, and Raylene Streed, Executive Director of Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, in a joint statement. "Our partnership means greater efficiency and service for our healthcare partners and a stronger donation program for the generous people who place their trust in us to be stewards of their gifts of life and sight."

"Altru Health System's mission is improving health and enriching life," said Dave Molmen, Altru Health System CEO. "That means partnering with organizations that best share our dedication to world-class service and bring strength and compassion to our community. Our strengthened partnership in donation will allow us to provide the best possible care to patients and families who choose donation."

LifeSource, founded in 1989, is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest, serving communities in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. For more information, visit www.Life-Source.org.

Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, founded in 1960, serves eye donors and family members from Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin, and provides donor eye tissue for transplant, research and medical education locally, nationally and internationally. Learn more at www.MnLionsEyeBank.org.