Victorian State Medical Director - Dr Helen Opdam
Dr Helen Opdam is the State Medical Director of DonateLife Victoria. She is a Senior Intensive Care Specialist at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne and her interests include improving processes in patient care through the use of clinical guidelines and neuro-intensive care.
Dr Opdam has a strong commitment to organ and tissue donation and has been a medical consultant with the Victorian Organ Donation Agency (VODA) since 2002. In this role, she has overseen a state hospital audit into the potential for organ donation inVictoria, with particular focus on optimising identification of potential donors and ensuring the option for donation is discussed with patients’ families.
Dr Opdam regularly facilitates Medical ADAPT workshops which provide education to Intensive Care Specialists, trainees and other doctors on brain death and organ donation.
She is also on the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) Advisory Committee that provided the National Organ Donation Collaborative as well as the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Brain Death and Organ Donation Working Party and provided substantial input into the recently published ANZICS Statement on Death and Organ Donation.
Dr Opdam graduated fromMonashUniversityin 1990 with First Class Honours and received the Sir Edward Hughes Medal (Final Year Surgical Prize).
DonateLife Victoria staff
DonateLife Victoria has 11 highly trained nursing professionals called Organ Donor Coordinators (ODCs), as well as a Clinical Manager, an Operations Manager, Administrative staff, Education Coordinators, a Communications Adviser, and a Donor Family Support Coordinator.
DonateLife Victoria also supports a network of hospital based organ and tissue donation clinical staff including 27 medical specialists and 33 nurses across Victoria.
The team is responsible for providing professional donation services, data collection and healthcare professional education, as well as implementing best practices in donation to help increase organ and tissue donation performance at a local hospital level.
DonateLife Victoria Volunteers
DonateLife Victoria has more than 40 volunteers including donor families, recipients and recipients’ family members. They perform and initiate activities including community talks, promotional activities and engaging workplaces, schools and organisations within their local area.
Our volunteers help DonateLife Victoria reach a wider audience to help raise community awareness, understanding and acceptance of organ and tissue donation.