Donor Alliance Director Receives Regional Leadership Award

Process Improvements Helping Save & Heal More Lives in Region

Today, Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence (RMPEx) presented its 2023 Pete Reicks Leadership Award to Grace Harcek, director of performance excellence at Donor Alliance, for her tireless pursuit ensuring the organization’s efforts are aligned on its mission of saving and healing lives for organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Colorado and most of Wyoming. Each year, the award recognizes an individual whose performance excellence leadership and behaviors provide a role model for others. As director of performance excellence, Harcek collaborates with each department at Donor Alliance to evaluate and continuously improve systems and processes across the nonprofit organization.

Those waiting for lifesaving and healing transplants rely on these processes to get a second chance at life, as the organization is one of 56 federally designated organ procurement organizations in the U.S. Over the years, Harcek’s drive for process improvements has been vital to Donor Alliance’s success. In 2022, the number of organ donors increased by 19% and there was a 29% increase in life-saving transplants for a total of 829 that were performed.

“These increases are not only due to the incredible generosity of organ and tissue donors throughout the region, but also due to Harcek’s continuous efforts to performance improvement,” said Jennifer Prinz, president, and CEO of Donor Alliance. “The community depends on Donor Alliance during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives, and it’s crucial our services are systematic and repeatable. Grace works to inspire and empower each member of our team to do their best work with the resources they need to be successful. We’d like to congratulate Grace on this well-deserved recognition.”

Under Harcek’s performance excellence leadership, Donor Alliance was awarded the RMPEx Peak Award in 2015 and was named a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner in 2018, the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive. Throughout Harcek’s 25- year career in healthcare and quality, she has centered her leadership around service. She was a Malcolm Baldrige Examiner and held numerous leadership positions in organ and tissue donation, including chair of the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations Quality Improvement Council.

About Donor Alliance

Donor Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ and tissue donation for transplantation. The organization is an organ and tissue recovery agency for Colorado and most of Wyoming – one of 56 federally designated in the U.S. – and serves more than 6.3 million residents and 117 hospitals. Donor Alliance walks alongside the family during the organ recovery process and ensures their loved one’s gifts are safely received at transplant centers in a timely manner. In addition, the organization maintains partnerships with hospitals, educates residents on the life-saving benefits of donation, and inspires people to register to be a donor through Donate Life Colorado and Donate Life Wyoming. For more information, please visit


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