DMV Campaign Leads To Increase Of Donor Registry Enrollments In NY Metro Area During National Donate Life Month
For National Donate Life Month this past April, the New York Organ Donor Network focused the majority of its outreach efforts in creating a strong presence at Department of Motor Vehicle field offices. That is where New Yorkers are given the opportunity to enroll in the state’s Donate Life organ, eye and tissue donor registry when applying for or renewing their driver’s licenses.
Data reveals that 95 percent of all enrollments take place at DMVs.
The month-long initiative featured unprecedented appearances of transplant recipients, living donors and donor family members at DMVs where they shared their personal stories with members of public. In multiple instances, the volunteers spoke of individuals who were so moved to hear the stories that they signed the registry when filling out their driver’s license application forms.
To create extra energy and excitement, the Donor Network organized an enrollment contest among areas within the region headlined by former NFL legend, the WFAN’s Boomer Esiason, and “30 Rock” star, Grizz Chapman.
Elaine Berg, New York Organ Donor Network president and CEO, said, “Esiason and Chapman served as captains of the contest that challenged metro area residents to sign-up on the state donor registry at DMVs. Esiason is a long-time champion of organ donation who served as captain of Manhattan and Long Island; Chapman, a kidney recipient, led the outer boroughs and northern counties.”
The winner of the friendly contest is scheduled to be announced in early June when Chapman visits Esiason during the live broadcast of WFAN’s morning show.
The Donor Network’s vice president of marketing and communications, James Pardes, said: “We are thrilled to be working so closely with the DMV offices in our region. The cooperation from regional directors and field managers was phenomenal.
Mr. Pardes added, “A very positive outcome of this initiative is that in April, 23,297 New Yorkers enrolled in the donor registry, compared with 19,988 last year. That’s an increase of 17 percent, and under any circumstances, that’s a significant spike.
“We have a lot more to do, with only 16 percent of New Yorkers age 18 and over enrolled, compared with around 40 percent nationwide. But this is a definite boost to the registry numbers, meaning that with more people signed up, a greater number of lives can be saved.”
There are currently more than 111,000 people waiting for life-saving organs in the United States; 8,000 in the New York Metropolitan area alone. Eighteen people die across the U.S. every day while waiting.