Record-Setting Year Thanks to Organ Donors, Partnership Between HSC Foundation, Manitoba Government and Transplant Manitoba: Asagwara

Manitoba Performs Record Number of Kidney Transplants - Media Release April 22, 2024

A record number of Manitobans donated and received kidneys last year, signaling both the increased awareness of the province’s organ donor registry and the improved level of care offered at Health Sciences Centre’s (HSC) Transplant Wellness Centre, Health, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Uzoma Asagwara announced today.

"As a community, we have the power to make a profound difference in the lives of those living with kidney failure,” said Asagwara. “As we mark National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, I encourage all Manitobans to register their intent to be organ and tissue donors to help save lives. Together, we can bring hope to individuals, and their loved ones, who are affected by kidney disease."

A record 83 Manitobans received a kidney transplant through the Adult Kidney Transplant Program at HSC in 2023, besting the previous high of 77 set in 2017.   Additionally, a record number of Manitobans donated the gift of life to others in need through organ donation last year, with 30 donating organs posthumously. That is significantly more than the previous record of 22, set in 2018, noted the minister.

The increased number of transplants was made possible by the HSC Transplant Wellness Centre, which opened in July 2020 and provides enhanced care for living kidney donors, pre-transplant and post-transplant patients and recipients. The $4.5-million centre, funded by the HSC Foundation and the Manitoba government, has improved care for kidney transplant recipients as well as Manitobans receiving transplants in other provinces.

“This milestone is a powerful example of HSC’s commitment to providing life-saving care, a sign of the invaluable generosity of families who honour the final wishes of a loved one and evidence of the transformative impact of philanthropy in health care,” said Jonathon Lyon, president and chief executive officer, HSC Foundation.   “Today’s announcement reminds us of the exceptional things we can do in health care when we come together as a community.”

Manitobans are encouraged to sign up using the province’s organ and tissue donor registry, which is available online at

More than 69,000 Manitobans have signed up for the registry since it came online in 2012 including 4,000 last year.

To register, Manitobans need to be at least 18 years of age and have a valid Manitoba Personal Health Information Number.

“Organ and tissue donation is truly a gift, and it is a privilege to walk with families along the donation journey,” said Dr. Owen Mooney, medical director, Gift of Life Program. “We admire and respect families who engage with our team during the worst time of their lives and have the capacity to think of others in need.”

“Our team works hard to continue improving the process and making transplantation safer and more accessible; however, we still rely on the courage, compassion, and generosity of living and deceased kidney donors,” said Dr. Julie Ho, medical director, Adult Kidney Transplant Program, HSC. “I have experienced first-hand the impact that donation and transplantation have on patients and their families, and it is a gift like no other. Talking with family and joining the registry makes second chances possible.”

The Adult Kidney Transplant Program is consistently working on improving processes and access to kidneys for Manitobans.

Several new programs have been initiated over the past few years including a program designed for Manitobans aged 65 and up who are on the kidney waitlist. The program offers older patients the opportunity to improve their quality of life and potentially live longer by shortening their time on dialysis.

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, which runs this year from April 21 to 27, raises awareness about the critical need for more donors while encouraging Canadians to register their decision and to talk to their loved ones about organ and tissue donation.

For more information on Manitoba’s organ donor registry, go to