Our History

In 1975 the first kidney transplant was performed at Jackson Memorial Hospital (JMH). LAORA was founded in 1978. Currently LAORA provides a wide range of services in organ recovery including a close relationship with the UMTB Donor Services Foundation and the Florida Lion’s Eye Bank.

  • The first renal Allografts recovered and prepared by LAORA were transplanted in 1978.
  • In October of 1978 the following three individuals moved from the University of Minnesota transplant program to Miami: Dr. Joshua Miller (Medical Director), Les Olson (Director of Organ Procurement) and Ken Trachy (Director of Public Education). Those were the initial 3 employees of the newly born Miami OPO.
  • From 1979 to 1987 kidneys were the only organ transplanted at JMH.
  • In 1987 Dr. Miller and Dr. Burke (who was new to the program) performed the first liver transplant program.
  • In the summer of 1993 Dr. Andreas Tzakis was hired, and the liver program took off the ground as well.
  • LAORA officially became known as Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency around 2002, changing its name from University of Miami OPO.
  • LAORA is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations in 2006.
  • In 2015, LAORA saved an amazing 449 lives thanks to 158 heroes who said yes to organ donation.
  • Today, LAORA’s leadership is committed to its mission of providing life-saving organs while caring for the families of organ, eye, and tissue donors by turning tragedies into miracles. Our leadership’s biographical information can be found here http://surgery.med.miami.edu/laora/leadership

In an effort to improve the quality of life and make transplants readily available to patients, LAORA has assisted in the organization of new procurement programs. It has also provided training for personnel from other procurement programs, and for surgeons interested in organ transplantation and procurement programming.

The personnel of LAORA can view the accomplishments of LAORA with pride. This could have been achieved only through the participation and collaboration of personnel on all levels. We look forward to the continuation of our activities and the service to the recipients and donor families.