What Is Living Organ Donation?

Family of a living donor

With so few organs available for transplantation, living donation is the best way we have to continue to save lives. Transplanting organs from a living donor is the best means of donation because of the following benefits:

  • The quality of organs that are donated by living donors is usually better than organs from deceased donors. These organs last nearly twice as long.
  • The waiting time for a patient needing a transplant can be significantly shorter.
  • The procedure can be scheduled at a time that's convenient for both the donor and recipient.
  • The time between removing the organ (or part of the organ) and transplanting it in the recipient is less.
  • There is a lower chance of rejection. Also, the organ recipient will need fewer and lower doses of anti-rejection medication.

COVID-19 Information for Transplant Patients

Read about the COVID-19 vaccine with specific information for organ donor patients.


Living Donor Transplant: Hear From Our Patient

Donor Coordinators & Independent Donor Advocate

Living Donor Advocate

The independent living donor advocate's (ILDA) primary focus is to help potential living donors understand the non-medical problems, challenges, and changes that donation brings. Independent living donor advocates also evalute the donor's emotional support, social support, and financial resources.

The donor advocate is employed specifically to represent and advise the donor, protect and promote the donor's interests, and ensure that the donor's decision is informed and free from coercion. The donor advocate provides counseling and emotional support to donors and families as they proceed through the donation process.

Donor Advocate

Lauren Shah, LCSW
Independent Living Donor Advocate (ILDA)
Office Phone: 801-585-0026

Living Donor Coordinator

The living donor coordinator oversees the coordination of care for living donors, starting at the initial intake, through the evaluation process, surgery, and follow-up care. The living donor coordinator supports the transplant team by educating prospective donors about the living donation process.

Coordinators also help care for donors throughout the donation process.

Donor Coordinators


Shalei Valentine, BSN, RN, CCTC, CCTN
Living Donor Transplant Coordinator

Tracey Tuttle, BSN, RN
Living Donor Transplant Coordinator

Michelle Hicks, BSN, RN
Living Donor Transplant Coordinator

Social Worker

Robin Cady, MSW, LCSW
Living Donor Social Work
Office phone: 801-585-2054 


University of Utah Health—Living Donor Program
50 N Medical Drive
Area E, Room 2400
Salt Lake City, UT 84132

Traveling From Outside of Utah?