ALBANY, N.Y., Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Donate Life New York State is publicly recognizing the yearlong efforts of state and local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices to increase registered organ and tissue donors across New York State. The recognition is part of National DMV Appreciation Week, which takes place Sept. 24-28.
DMV remains the primary source for enrollment in the New York State (NYS) Donate Life Registry (Registry), a confidential database of people who have signed up to donate their organs, eyes and/or tissue after their death. Anyone age 16 and older can join the Registry.
"DMV offices and motor vehicle representatives are on the frontlines every day engaging the public on this important life-saving issue, and we are recognizing them as the outstanding partners they are," said Aisha Tator, Executive Director of Donate Life NYS, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation throughout New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research.
Donate Life NYS will recognize DMVs across the state by presenting each office with a certificate of appreciation, and through a social media campaign via Twitter (@DonateLifeNYS) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DonateLifeNYS).
About 5.3 million New Yorkers are currently enrolled in the NYS Donate Life Registry. As of September, Registry enrollment is up by more than 430,000 from last year, reflecting an increase of about 9 percent. By year's end, a total of 600,000 new enrollments are expected, a growth of about 12 percent.
Teenagers are also starting to impact the Registry. Since a new law signed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo went into effect last year that allows 16- and 17-year-olds to enroll in the Registry, more than 50,000 of them have documented their decision to give the gift of life.
Still, there continues to be a critical shortage in organ and tissue donation. New York State has the third highest need for donors in the country, yet the second lowest percentage of registered donors. Out of the estimated 9,400 New Yorkers on the waiting list, approximately 1,700 have been waiting for life-saving transplants for more than five years. Each year, approximately 500 men, women and children in the state die or are removed from the waiting list because they become too sick to transplant due to the shortage of donors.
Building a Partnership
Over the past decade, Donate Life NYS and the state and local DMV offices have built a partnership to help address this shortage of registered donors.
"Our DMV staff work tirelessly to increase enrollment in the NYS Donate Life Registry. From awareness campaigns, such as Donate Life Month, and hanging promotional materials in offices, to offering several ways to enroll in the Registry, they have done an excellent job in educating New Yorkers about the critical need for donation," said Gizelle Meeks, Jefferson County Clerk.
Donate Life NYS is encouraging people to show their individual support and appreciation to their local DMV offices by posting their own social media messages of gratitude or by saying "thank you" to the motor vehicle representatives helping them at their DMV office.
"If you're going to the DMV to renew your license or visiting your county clerk," said Tator, "thank the staff for their part in saving lives in New York State."
DMV Supports Donation as a Gift of Life
For many years DMV has made it possible for individuals to join the Registry when applying for or renewing a driver license or non-driver ID card by completing the organ and tissue donor enrollment section of the form. Since 2012, DMV has enabled New Yorkers to join the NYS Donate Life Registry online through MyDMV. In addition, DMV encourages New Yorkers to enroll directly in the NYS Donate Life Registry at www.donatelife.ny.gov.
New Yorkers can also show their support for organ and tissue donation by purchasing a "Life-Pass It On" custom license plate from the DMV. Additionally, they can make a voluntary $1 contribution to organ donation and transplant research and educational programs promoting organ and tissue donation by checking off the box on their driver license or non-driver identification application or renewal form.
About Donate Life New York State
Donate Life New York State (NYS), formerly New York Alliance for Donation, is a not-for-profit with a mission to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research. Our goal is to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need. Donate Life New York State is comprised of the four organ procurement organizations, four eye and tissue banks and/or processors, and affiliates, including dedicated donation and transplantation professionals.
CONTACT: Aisha Tator, Donate Life NYS
firstname.lastname@example.org, (518) 326-3237
SOURCE Donate Life New York State