Inaugural Spero Awards

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The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA) served as host for the inaugural Spero Awards presented by Donate Life Mississippi on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at the Old Capitol Inn in downtown Jackson. The awards ceremony recognized hospital partners, medical professionals, corporate partners and donor ambassadors that work tirelessly in conjunction with MORA to promote organ, eye and tissue donation to ultimately save and enhance lives.

A total of 15 Spero Awards presented to individuals and institutions from areas throughout the state. The word Spero (Sp?-r?) is Latin for “hope”. The title was chosen to reflect the hope that organ and tissue donation brings to those in need of a lifesaving organ or a life enhancing tissue transplants.

Additionally, 9 medical facilities in the state received Hospital Excellence Awards in recognition of their achievement of national organ donation performance standards by attaining one or more of three set goals.

Spero Award recipients

Corporate Partner of the Year-Community Bank
Red Heart Award-Jackson Driver’s License Headquarters
Donation Advocate-Steve & Laura Gaskin, Aberdeen
Volunteer of the Year-Cynthia Camel, Brandon
Most Supportive Mortuary Services-Greater Jackson Mortuary Services, Jackson
Most Supportive Coroner-Derek Turnage, Pearl River County
Most Supportive Tissue Hospital-Neshoba County General Hospital, Philadelphia
Nurse Champion-Sheila Shappley, Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg
Most Supportive Organ & Tissue Hospital-St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson
Physician Champion-Hartmut Uschmann, UMMC, Jackson
Best Pre-Donor Management-Singing River Hospital, Pascagoula
Best Hospital Leadership-Lee Ann Lutkin, UMMC, Jackson
Most Supportive Hospital Administrator-Ray Humphreys, Anderson Regional Medical Center, Meridian
Gift of Life Award-University of MS Medical Center
Award of Distinction-Con Maloney, Jackson
Hospital Excellence Awards – hospitals that have achieved national organ donation performance standards

Delta Regional Medical Center, Greenville
Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg
North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo
Oktibbeha County Regional Medical Center, Starkville
St. Dominic Hospital, Jackson
Singing River Hospital, Pascagoula
University of Mississippi Medical Center-Grenada
University of Mississippi Medical Center-Jackson
Wesley Medical Center-Hattiesburg

Currently over 1,400 Mississippians and 123,000+ Americans are in need of a lifesaving transplant. A new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 18 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes.  To register as an organ and tissue donor go to