The number of people who added their names to Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry in June jumped 25 percent from the same month last year, Secretary of State (SOS) Ruth Johnson announced Monday.
A total of 35,265 people joined the Registry last month, which was up from the 28,104 that signed up in June 2010. It was the second consecutive month a major increase was seen — May numbers were up 20 percent from the year before. The surge in registrations follows SOS Johnson‘s implementation of a new policy in April requiring employees at branch offices, time permitting, to ask customers if they want to sign up on the registry.
“For years, Michigan has ranked nearly last among states in organ donor registration,” SOS Johnson said. “In cooperation with Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-Bank and our other partners, we are doing everything we can to turn the numbers around. The more people who are registered as willing to donate, the more lives will ultimately be saved.”
The Michigan Organ Donor Registry currently has about 2.2 million residents enrolled, less than one-third of the state’s adult population. Each organ donor has the potential to save eight lives and enhance the lives of as many as 50 patients.
“Recent changes in procedures at the Department of State are already having a significant impact on donor registrations, providing hope to the 3,000 Michigan patients currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant,” said Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “We are very pleased that Michigan residents, when offered the opportunity, are registering their decision to be organ, tissue and eye donors. The Department of State’s actions will save and improve lives.”
Other recent efforts by the SOS to increase organ donor registrations include placing reminders on widely used forms and on a checklist for customers at busy branches, providing links to the registry on more of the Department of State’s web pages, forming an advisory committee of experts to develop recommendations and encouraging donation via social media.
SOS Johnson said anyone interested in joining the registry may sign up at the Secretary of State Website at www.Michigan.gov/sos. Those who sign up will receive a red heart sticker for the front of their license or state ID card. A newly designed Michigan driver’s license signifies registered donors with a permanent red heart on the front of their license. Signing the back of your driver’s license does not enroll you in the Donor Registry.
For more information about organ donation and the Secretary of State’s Office, visit www.Michigan.gov/sos and sign up for the official Twitter feed, www.twitter.com/Michsos, and Facebook updates, www.facebook.com/Michigansos.