UNOS wins 2021 Award

SPQA is excited to announce UNOS winning the 2021 SPQA Achievement in Performance Excellence Award. We applaud them as they continue their journey toward implementing the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.








About the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the mission-driven non-profit serving as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government. UNOS leads the network of transplant hospitals, organ procurement organizations, and thousands of volunteers who are dedicated to honoring the gifts of life entrusted to us and  to making lifesaving transplants possible for patients in need. Working together, we leverage data and advances in science and technology to continuously strengthen the system, increase the number of organs recovered and the number of transplants performed, and ensure patients across the nation have equitable access to transplant.

Since UNOS was incorporated as an independent non-profit in 1984, it has grown from a handful of staff members in rented office space to an organization involving more than 400 staff members employed at its corporate offices in downtown Richmond, Va., as well as 536 committee volunteers and 1,455 community volunteers from across the country.

UNOS has played a vital role in the evolution of transplant in the U.S. for nearly 40 years.

Brian Shepard, CEO of UNOS, comments: “Lives literally depend on the work we do at UNOS, so we are committed to continuously improving that work and getting closer and closer to our goal of a transplant for every patient who needs one. 

The Baldridge framework gives us the tools to examine our systems, ask ourselves questions, and rigorously improve every aspect of what we do.”

What is the OPTN?

Under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, UNOS serves as the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for the entire country. Every transplant hospital, OPO, and histocompatibility lab in the U.S. is an OPTN member, and OPTN membership requires institutions to meet specific requirements to ensure patient safety and contribute to the success of the system. This means members play an active role in forming the policies that govern the donation and transplant community. As the convener of the community, UNOS works closely with the 57 OPOs designated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), 143 histocompatibility labs, and more than 250 transplant centers (TXCs) across the nation.

UNOS’ commitment to continuous improvement is evident throughout the organization. Staff members have a clear enthusiasm for the work of UNOS and are dedicated to the mission to unite and strengthen the donation and transplant community to save lives. Senior leaders and the Board of Directors lead strategic plan development where goals and objectives are integrated into department and personal performance goals, providing a well-integrated approach to achieving key objectives that are directly tied to the mission of the organization. UNOS demonstrates favorable performance levels and trends in many areas that are critical to the success of its work in the transplant community.

To learn more about UNOS’ lifesaving mission, go to