Alabama Organ Center
The Alabama Organ Center is located at 502 20th Street South on the ground floor of the Faculty Office Tower. It was founded in 1979 as the Alabama Organ Bank and operates as a component of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation. The center coordinates the retrieval and delivery of donated kidneys, hearts, lungs, livers, pancreases and other organs and tissues to UAB Hospital's transplant program and for other surgeries statewide.
The organ center is the only federally designated Organ Procurement Organization for Alabama, coordinating the equitable use of organs and tissues for medical transplant as well as for research. Chris Meeks is the current executive director.
In 2003 the Alabama Organ Center began contracting with Abanks Mortuary & Crematory to transport deceased patients and provide a centralized facility for tissue donations outside of hospital operating rooms. Then director Demosthenes Lalisan and associate director Richard Alan Hicks accepted direct payments from Abanks in a kickback scheme for which they pleaded guilty in federal court and each served prison time.
In 2016 the Alabama Organ Center opened its own dedicated "Donor Recovery Center".
- Faulk, Kent (May 18, 2012) "Alabama Organ Center kickbacks detailed." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (September 3, 2016) "Jury: Funeral home director not guilty in alleged Alabama Organ Center kickback scheme." The Birmingham News
- "Judge awards whistleblower nearly $15 million" (March 1, 2018) Associated Press
- Alabama Organ Center website