LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#onelegacy–As new organ donation records are being realized for the tenth consecutive year, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services has applauded the Department of Motor Vehicles for their critical role in achieving this milestone.
“You play a pivotal role in our nation’s extraordinary record of growth in organ donation and transplantation,” Secretary Alex Azar II wrote in a letter to the DMV staff. “As a valued partner, you are the first critical step in our collective effort to ensure all Americans are aware of their potential to save and improve the lives of thousands of men, women and children waiting for a lifesaving or life-enhancing transplant by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors.”
In 2019, health care teams across the country performed nearly 40,000 transplants from both deceased and living organ donors. This marks an 8.7% increase over 2018 and continues to make the United States the world’s leader in organ transplant rate. The DMV is the primary source for state donor registration by providing people the opportunity to easily register to be a donor and have their intentions indicated on their driver’s license.
“We are deeply thankful to Secretary Azar for recognizing the great work of DMVs across the nation and for acknowledging the unprecedented growth in organ donation—growth that has made the U.S. donation system the world’s leader in lifesaving organ transplant rate,” said Tom Mone, chief executive officer of OneLegacy, the not-for-profit organ procurement organization serving seven Southern California counties. “Here in our state, the California DMV has been a tremendous partner in Donate Life California, the country’s largest registry that has grown to 16.8 million registered donors and has helped grow United States registered donors to 156 million. We join Secretary Azar in thanking the DMV for their incredible contribution to this effort.”
Mone calls the growth in people registering to be a donor is a “wonderful demonstration of the generosity of all of those who help to make the gift of life possible.” He also said that it reflects an increased understanding “that donation is really about life, not death, as the act of donation leaves a legacy of life by saving and healing lives of recipients. Our thanks go out as well to donor hospitals and their staff who despite the current pandemic have been incredible in continuing to recognize the importance of enabling donation and in fulfilling the wishes of the donor patient.”
The 10 years of growth in organ donation has, for the first time ever, reduced the national transplant waitlist from more than 120,000 to under 109,000. But, Mone reminds us, “Our work is far from done—for as long as one person dies while waiting, we must continue to engage our communities and help them to choose to be donors; and we have no better partner in this effort than the California DMVs. Please join us and help save a life by registering to be an organ donor at the DMV and at donatelifecalifornia.org.”
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, a diverse population of nearly 20 million, donors and families across the region, and waiting recipients across the country. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.