Officials with the Iowa Donor Network broke ground this morning on a new facility in Altoona. It’s scheduled to be completed in January of 2015 and will replace the current facility in Johnston.
Iowa Donor Network spokesperson Tony Hakes credits the “generous nature” of Iowans for the necessary move into a bigger building. “We have 1.8 million people registered as organ and tissue donors. Our tissue donation has been on the rise for the last 10 years and organ donation was on the rise last year. As a result, we have just outgrown our current facility,” Hakes said.
The Iowa Donor Network administrative headquarters are located in North Liberty and will remain there, according to Hakes. The new facility in Altoona will include two recovery rooms, as opposed to just one, and will include upgraded equipment. “We’ll also have a state-of-the-art communications center which will allow us to make and take more phone calls,” Hakes said. “The end result will be we’ll be able to carry out the wishes of more Iowans and help more donor families.”
The communication center is staffed 24 hours a day and currently handles over 65,000 calls a year. Approximately 60 employees will work in the new building. Hakes said the three acres site will eventually include a memorial garden for donors and their families. The Iowa Donor Network is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.