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Neverfail Aids Organ Donation

AUSTIN, Texas -- Keeping critical lines of communication open is vital for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) as it rushes to recover and place organ and tissue donations throughout the state. The agency can not afford email downtime under any circumstances even those wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. During that time, the agency’s email was down for weeks, and they were unable to effectively coordinate with their regional offices and networked hospitals throughout the state.

“We had a disaster recovery plan in place,” says Max Prather, IT Manager of LOPA, the only federally-designated organ procurement organization in the state. “However, no plan we had developed could stand up to the extent of the damage of a complete disaster. The 2005 hurricane season was a real eye-opener. We realized that protecting our lines of communication was vital to our entire operation.”

Headquartered in Metairie, La., less than ten miles outside of New Orleans, the threat of Hurricane Katrina forced LOPA to evacuate its headquarters, dispersing its employees around the state and beyond. After the storm, the IT staff was tasked with salvaging minimally damaged or undamaged hardware, moving it to Lafayette and reestablishing dependable lines of communications with steady data flow. Three weeks later, however, Hurricane Rita forced LOPA to once again relocate, this time to Shreveport.

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