Donation and Family Advocate | Iowa Donor Network

Donation and Family Advocate

  • Location: Altoona

    Employment Type: Full Time

    Department: Professional Outreach

    Exemption Status: Exempt

    OSHA Category: II

  • Position Overview:

    The Donation and Family Advocate is responsible for utilizing Collaborative Compassionate Care to engage potential donor families in a respectful and sensitive manner at all times. Ensure the needs of the family are met while advocating for potential recipients in need of life-saving or life-enhancing transplants. Coordinate a wide range of support for donor families by sharing and articulating information in an easily understood and accurate manner. Collaborate closely with Iowa Donor Network clinical team members and donor hospital staff and physicians to develop a plan for the family discussion of donation, legal authorization and/or support for donor designation and a bereavement plan. Remain aware and sensitive to diversity of all kinds while working with families and hospital staff. Establish organization wide expertise in continuum of care for donor families. Align daily activities with the strategic and operational goals of the organization.

  • Job Qualifications:

    1. Requires a bachelors degree in Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or related field and three years experience in social work, crisis intervention, grief support, chaplaincy or hospice care or equivalent education and experience. Masters Degree in Social Work preferred.

    2. Requires previous experience working with family dynamics within a medical or health care setting, hospice, bereavement counseling center, etc. where there was active involvement in issues involving death, dying, grief and/or loss. Crisis management experience preferred.

    3. Proven successful demonstration of establishing and maintaining relationships with proficiency in the ability to develop and connect with people quickly.

    4. Display compassion in written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills while engaging with grieving families.

  • Organization Responsibilities:

    Job Qualifications:

    1. Requires a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Sociology, Psychology or related field and three years’ experience in social work, crisis intervention, grief support, chaplaincy or hospice care or equivalent education and experience. Master’s Degree in Social Work preferred.
    2. Requires previous experience working with family dynamics within a medical or health care setting, hospice, bereavement counseling center, etc. where there was active involvement in issues involving death, dying, grief and/or loss. Crisis management experience preferred.
    1. Proven successful demonstration of establishing and maintaining relationships with proficiency in the ability to develop and connect with people quickly.
    1. Display compassion in written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills while engaging with grieving families.


    Essential Job Functions and Performance Expectations:

    1. Establish rapport with donor families or Legal Next of Kin (LNOK) providing respectful and compassionate support during the donation process across the service area.
      1. Collaborate with the Organ Administrator On-Call (AOC) to assess referral information via rapid phone response followed by on-site response to the hospital for clinical and social evaluation of referral scenarios.
      2. Embrace a practice philosophy that supports maximizing authorization opportunities to provide organs and tissues for transplantation.
      3. Establish initial contact with the potential donor family providing resources for trauma, grief and bereavement support as ability to process information may be impaired by emotionally traumatic circumstances while evaluating and assessing their understanding of the patient’s clinical status.
      4. Keep the family informed, along with the health care professionals, regarding the status of their loved one, explains what is occurring and meets the needs of the families.
      5. Provide support and assistance through sensitive and respectful consideration of culture, beliefs, and the grieving process.
      6. Identify and educate LNOK, according to state or federal guidelines, about donation options, status of donor designation or requests authorization and identify the person/s with the most information about the patient’s medical and social history.
      7. j. In consultation with the AOC and ODC, review donor medical history and current medical status in evaluating donation options.
      8. k. Complete accurate and timely documentation of donor-related activities in computerized confidential donor record and forms according to established policies and procedures.
      1. Make a positive presentation regarding the donation process utilizing current best practices and philosophies to obtain and document authorization.
      2. Obtain authorization or disclosure with first person authorization and conduct a donor risk assessment questionnaire (DRAI) with appropriate surrogate of the potential organ donor.
      3. Support family needs throughout entire donor process from referral, family discussion, donor management, operating room, and family follow up calls.
      1. Identify, assess and facilitate the understanding of cultural differences impacting communication.
    1. Build and maintain skills related to best practices in de-escalation during family conflict, reflective listening, consensus building, and empathic response.
    2. Participate in performance improvement activities with emphasis on Iowa Donor Network contacts with donor hospitals and donor families.
    3. Fulfill duties outside of referral/case activities including availability and attendance at in-office activities, which may be outside of on call scheduled hours.
    4. Participate in case debriefs, assigned work groups/special projects, team member meetings, and other activities as directed by Manager.
      1. Meet periodically with key referral agency contacts, including administration, nursing (ICU, OR, ER) and allied health professionals (ME, EMS).
    1. Conduct educational presentations and donation updates for referral agency personnel.
    2. Perform after action reviews and follow up with referral agency personnel involved in organ and tissue referrals and cases per IDN established policies and procedures.
    3. Analyze data and information and develop strategies to increase organ and tissue referrals and donation at assigned referral agencies.
      1. Provide assistance with organ/tissue donation policy and procedure development and other revisions.
      2. Report death record review data, donation activity and referral data to assigned referral agencies.

    Additional Job Functions: None

    Physical Requirements/Working Conditions:

    1. Respond to call/page within 10 minutes and arrive to office/hospital within one hour of call as assigned.

    2. At peak times, may be called in to assist when not scheduled.

    3. Work office hours and a rotating on-call schedule with extended hours, minimum 10-12 days of call per month. May be required to take additional call as needed.

    4. Sit for periods of eight (8) hours or more at a time in an office setting.

    5. Lift equipment and supplies weighing up to 50 lbs.

    6. Possible mental and visual fatigue associated with detailed work.

    7. Require travel to the office and donor hospitals through the State of Iowa at any given

    hour of the day or night.

    8. Require driving a vehicle under various conditions that may lead to visual and mental

    fatigue.

    9. Work requires stooping, kneeling, reaching, and handling (seizing, holding, grasping,

    turning or otherwise working with hands).

    10. Express ideas verbally and convey detailed or important spoken information.

    11. Receive detailed information through oral and auditory communication.

    Skills and Abilities:

    1. Maintain a current valid driver’s license and be insurable through IDN’s insurance.
    2. Skill and ability to effectively use computers and computer software including word processing, databases, spreadsheets, Internet tools, and electronic mail.
    3. Effectively communicate both verbally and in writing when representing IDN; work well with others; take and give direction; demonstrate effective problem-solving skills; ability to work both independently and collaboratively.


    Organizational Responsibilities:
    It is required that IDN employees demonstrate commitment to the mission and vision, maintain effective communication, exhibit teamwork, respect diversity, follow policies and procedures, maintain confidentiality of all donor, recipient and organizational information, demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness while meeting productivity standards, observe safety and security procedures, be consistently punctual and dependable, actively participate in performance improvement activities and continually demonstrate behavioral expectations and core values.

Our Vision:

All are inspired to donate life.