Helping Ohioans understand and embrace organ donation

GCN | Amanda Ziadeh

In October 2014, Ohio launched a project that would help the 123,000 Americans on the national waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant while also educating Ohioans about the important decision of becoming an organ donor.

The Swipe to Donate Life program was a collaboration between the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) and Donate Life Ohio, the state’s coalition of four of the 58 nationwide organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the country.

According to Marilyn Pongonis, director of communications at Columbus-based OPO Lifeline of Ohio, 99 percent of the state’s registered organ donors signed up when they were getting or renewing their driver’s licenses at a local Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Four in 10 Ohioans, however, do not sign up to be organ donors. Many people are not ready to make that decision or they have questions or are unsure what it means to be an organ donor — and it’s not the BMV’s job to provide them with that information. Continue reading