Newswise — Loyola Medicine's Julie Fitzgerald, MD, FAAP, division director, pediatric critical care, medical director, pediatric intensive care unit, was recognized as a Lifesaving Partner by Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network.

Dr. Fitzgerald was one of 14 people who were honored in a ceremony on October 12 for outstanding achievement in addressing the critical need for organ and tissue donation.

As a pediatric intensivist, Dr. Fitzgerald cares for some of the sickest pediatric patients at Loyola. She is an active member of Gift of Hope’s Critical Care Advisory Group, which works to improve relationships and communication between medical and organ donation teams.

In November 2017, Dr. Fitzgerald organized, facilitated and led Gift of Hope’s first Pediatric Brain Death Symposium. She is working on a follow-up symposium on pediatric donation after cardiac death.

Dr. Fitzgerald also helped create the Crucial Conversations and Pediatric Brain Death Educational training videos, which are now used at many hospitals throughout Gift of Hope’s donation service area. These educational videos help healthcare professionals practice and develop their skills around end-of-life and pediatric brain-death conversations with grieving families.

“Dr. Julie Fitzgerald is an extraordinary champion of organ and tissue donation,” Kevin Cmunt, president/CEO of Gift of Hope said in a Gift of Hope press release. “Her dedication to donation is second only to her commitment to excellence in her field. The many contributions Dr. Fitzgerald makes in her collaboration with Gift of Hope have helped to bolster education, awareness and support around donation among medical professionals.”

Loyola Medicine has a 14-bed pediatric critical care unit. Loyola specializes in the medical care of infants, children and teens who require advanced life support, close monitoring and ongoing treatment after an emergency, severe trauma or major surgery, including a transplant.