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San Antonio Eye Bank Recognizes South Texas Health System Employee for Exemplary Efforts in Facilitating Cornea Donations

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Every year, the eye bank recognizes its outstanding hospital partners during Eye Donation Month

Noe Alvarado received one of just a handful of Excellence in Partnership awards being given out by the eye bank this year — throughout the vast region it covers —to its community partners who are not directly involved in patient care. Courtesy photo

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At South Texas Health System, it’s not just the work of physicians, nurses and staff members who interact daily with patients that helps drive meaningful impact with the community. From the cooks and servers in the dietary department to the men and women in supply chain who help deliver equipment and medical items to the facilities, each employee plays a vital role in serving the people of the Rio Grande Valley by ensuring the system’s smooth operations.

On Thursday, November 11, the San Antonio Eye Bank honored STHS Information Services (IS) Clinical Systems Specialist Noe Alvarado with its Excellence in Partnership award during a surprise ceremony for his commitment to helping facilitate donations at South Texas Health System.

Alvarado is the eye bank’s first point of contact. He assists the nonprofit organization in its mission to restore sight to the blind by providing its coordinators with secure electronic medical record access. According to San Antonio Eye Bank Hospital & Community Relations Coordinator Gabriela Herrera, he has gone above and beyond in his role of coordinating donations by creating a system for the eye bank coordinators to screen every donor’s medical chart prior to contacting the family. That initial first step helps spare a donor’s relatives of the emotional difficulty of having to learn a donation cannot be successfully completed.

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“Noe has worked behind the scenes for several years on technical aspects that support our transplant coordinators to honor donor heroes after death and their donation legacies,” Herrera said. “We chose this month to make efforts to recognize hospital partners during Eye Donation Month, it became clear after discussing with our leadership that his efforts deserved recognition.”

This is one of four awards the eye bank is giving out this year in this new category, which was created to acknowledge donation partners who are not directly involved in patient care.

“My father was a kidney recipient, so my family and I are very pro organ donation; we’re extremely grateful to these agencies that help improve and save lives,” Alvarado said. “I am so honored to have received this award, and I highly encourage everyone to register to donate, if they can. It’s something I believe in strongly.”

The eye bank works with hospitals from Cameron to Bexar County. To date, it has accepted more than 51 cornea donations this year from South Texas Health System organ donor patients.

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