PENNSYLVANIA — On Friday, the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Health (DOH) joined forces to raise awareness about organ donation. Recognizing the national observance of Donate Life Month in April, PennDOT and DOH were joined by Pennsylvania organ donation organizations, Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program to spread the message that driver’s license and identification card holders can easily help another person live a fuller, longer life by registering as an organ donor.
“Potential donors considering adding the organ donor designation to their driver’s license or identification card do not have to wait for their renewal notices to take action,” said PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Driver and Vehicle Services Kurt Myers. “Making the decision today to become an organ donor can potentially lead to saving a life.”
Many Pennsylvanians have answered the call to become organ donors, with more than 49.5 percent of current driver’s license and identification card holders registered as organ donors – that’s nearly five million Pennsylvanians. Currently, more than 7,000 Pennsylvanians await organ transplants.
“The Department of Health is proud of our partnership with PennDOT and the Organ Procurement Organizations – the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, and Gift of Life Donor Program,” said Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Cindy Findley. “The Department will continue to look for new and creative ways to promote the importance of registering to become an organ donor, and I encourage you to talk to one person today about organ donation. It only takes a minute to register, and a single organ donor can save up to eight lives.”
To add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card today, visit The Driver and Vehicle Services website, and select the “Become an organ donor in 30 seconds” icon. Once the designation is added, individuals will receive a designation card that they must carry with them to affirm organ donor status until they renew or replace their driver’s license or identification card. There is no charge for adding the designation to your driver’s license or identification card.
Driver’s license and identification card holders, as well as registered vehicle owners, can also support organ donation programs by donating $3 to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund at the time of application and/or renewal. Proceeds from the fund are used to educate and promote awareness of the organ donor program through non-profit organizations like CORE and the Gift of Life Donor Program.
“Organ, tissue, and cornea donations are life changing gifts. People within days of death can recover and lead long lives. Blindness can be cured. Skin grafts allows badly burned firefighters to resume their duties,” said Dr. Lisa R. Battat, Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Organ Donation Advisory Committee on behalf of Donate Life Pennsylvania. “National Donate Life Month celebrates the incredible generosity of these donors and their families. It’s also a time to consider becoming a hero to so many by signing up at PennDOT to be an organ and tissue donor.”
As part of ongoing efforts to increase awareness of organ and tissue donation, video monitors featuring educational content are installed at 12 PennDOT photo license centers. Ads encouraging organ donation are regularly run on the Motor Vehicle Network at driver license centers. For more information on organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania or to sign up to become an organ donor, please visit www.donatelifepa.org, www.core.org, or www.donors1.org. It only takes 30 seconds to save a life!