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Frankie McGinnis

UT Employees Advocate for Organ Donor Leave Policy

Two UT employees showed up to Chancellor Plowman’s weekly office hours to discuss an organ donor leave policy for UT. The result of their advocacy was a new university system-wide policy for organ donation.


Transcript

Frankie McGinnis speaking:

I’m Frankie McGinnis. When my daughter was born they told us she would live to 12. She made it ’til 16 until she needed her first kidney transplant. I was not considered a candidate. I became interested in organ donation because of my daughter. I gave my left kidney to a 26-year-old in North Carolina, and she’s doing fabulously. And she calls me her kidney mom now.

I knew that it would take about six weeks recovery so I started looking for a policy, if UT had one, on leave. The policy was that I would have to use all my time and I thought that you shouldn’t have to make that choice. I thought I remember this guy and he was with the basketball team and he had an organ donor day and I sent him an email and I said I’m this crazy lady that likes to make things different.

Tom Satkowiak speaking:

I’m Tom Satkowiak. I’m the Associate Athletics Director for Communications.
October 18th, 2018 I received a liver transplant. It saved my life. We thought it’d be great to be able to get in front of somebody and sort of make the case for here’s why we think it’s important to have a policy.

We had set up a time online to do chancellor’s office hours.

Chancellor Donde Plowman speaking:

It was one of the first office hours I did after coming here. Frankie and Tom came in and they said we want to talk to you about organ donation. And then they began to tell me their story. I was convinced right on the spot and said you know what we need to change that.

President Randy Boyd speaking:

At the University of Tennessee we want to be the best employer in the state of Tennessee, maybe the best employer in higher education. Today we’re commemorating the new organ donation policy at the University of Tennessee. And with that I’ll sign the new policy into effect.

I want to thank Chancellor Plowman for her open office hours. I’m proud and encouraged that two employees would come forward with such a bold idea. We’re excited about the differences that we’re gonna be able to make in future lives.

Chancellor Donde Plowman speaking:

In the course of trying to get this done, Frankie’s daughter, Laura, became ill and Laura died. And it broke my heart.

Frankie McGinnis speaking:

Her two transplants gave me six years of her that I would have not had the opportunity to have and I’m forever grateful for every minute. She knew the policy had gone through. She said mom I never had any doubt.

Chancellor Donde Plowman speaking:

To give an organ as the ultimate volunteer act.

It takes people like Frankie and Tom to step forward and say hey isn’t this something we could do we could be better than this.

Here we are today with the Laura McGinnis policy for organ donation.