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April 3, 2017

For Immediate Release:

HANYS and HTNYS Encouraging New Yorkers to Register to Donate Organs During National Donate Life Month

ALBANY, N.Y. — During National Donate Life Month, the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and Healthcare Trustees of New York State (HTNYS) are boosting their efforts to raise awareness in New York about the need for life-saving organ donations.

Nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are on waiting lists, as the need for organ donations far exceeds the supply. One person who donates organs can save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor can improve 12 or more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infections in burn patients, and preventing disability and loss of mobility.

New York State has the third-highest need for donated organs in the U.S., but the lowest percentage of registered donors at 26%. In 2015, New York State hospitals transplanted 1,929 organs and 797 people donated organs. In 2016, 435,134 new people joined the New York State Donate Life Registry.

HANYS and HTNYS are encouraging New Yorkers to join the New York State Donate Life Registry, giving legal consent for the recovery of organs, tissues, and eyes for the purposes of transplantation and research at the time of death.

HANYS recently joined the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Campaign—a national effort to raise awarenessand boost donor registries.

HTNYS engages hospital and health system boards across the state in supporting organ donation. Trustees are business and community leaders who can have a positive impact on building community awareness about the importance of donation.

The two associations’ activities this month include highlighting members’ organ donation activities, mobilizing hospital leaders to write letters to newspaper editors in support of organ donation, inspirational video interviews that highlight the impact of organ donation on patients and families, and engaging in a web and social media campaign to raise awareness of organ donation.

There are many ways to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry, including online through the New York State departments of motor vehicles and health, and the Board of Elections. Paper forms are also available that can be mailed to the New York State Department of Health.

Under the new state law that went into effect in February, 16- and 17-year-olds are now able to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry—including when they first apply for a driver’s license, learner’s permit, or non-driver ID.

Bea Grause, President, HANYS, said, “HANYS is committed to supporting life-saving organ donation through public awareness, advocacy, and policy initiatives. We will continue to work with Governor Cuomo, the Legislature, and other key stakeholders to increase awareness of the critical need for organ and tissue donation and support improved donor registry efforts.”

Helen Irving, President and Chief Executive Officer, LiveOnNY, commented, “Donate Life Month gives us an opportunity to shine a brighter spotlight on the lifesaving and life-improving power of organ, eye, and tissue donation. We are fortunate that every year so many hospitals join us in bringing needed attention to this great cause not only during Donate Life Month, but also throughout the year. Together with our hospital partners, we can inspire our communities to save and improve more lives through donation.”

Lauren Quinn, Director, Hospital and Community Services, Center for Donation and Transplant, said, “Donate Life Month is an opportunity for us to honor those who gave the gift of life, raise awareness of the importance of donation, and express our gratitude to those who work to support our mission. We are inspired by the dedication of our hospital partners, who work tirelessly to support the families of donors and facilitate the gift of life for those in desperate need of a transplant.”

Sharon Norton Remmer, Chairwoman, Healthcare Trustees of New York State Board of Governors, said, “Trustees know their hospitals, are attuned to the needs of their patients, and play an important role in supporting and promoting organ donation. Healthcare Trustees of New York State is working collaboratively with our partners in organ donation to help meet the critical need for organs in our communities, and increase the number of New Yorkers who choose to Donate Life by enrolling in the New York State Donate Life Registry.”

Aisha M. Tator, Executive Director, New York Alliance for Donation, said, “The New York Alliance for Donation has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with HANYS, working together to save and improve the lives of the thousands of New Yorkers in need of organ or tissue transplants. As a trusted source of health information, hospitals and health systems have the unique ability to educate patients, visitors, members of the community, and their own staff and caregivers about the importance of signing up to become an organ and tissue donor. Promoting donation at hospitals during Donate Life Month will make a huge impact on enrollment numbers. The more awareness we build around donation, the more lives we can save and improve.”

For more information, call an organ procurement organization or the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at 866.693.6667.

National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, it features a month of local, regional, and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other healthcare organizations.

Healthcare Trustees of New York State (HTNYS) is a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to strengthening the governance of New York’s non-profit and public healthcare facilities. HTNYS is governed by a board of 25 trustees from healthcare facilities across the state and is an affiliate of the Healthcare Association of New York State.