2012-03-15 / Community

February organ donor registration up 89 percentThe

Nearly 41,000 residents joined the state’s organ donor registry last month, an increase of 89 percent from February 2011 and further evidence that Michigan is improv- ing the odds for those in need of transplants.

Through the first two months of 2012, more than 82,000 people reg- istered as donors in Michigan. That puts the state ahead of 2011’s pace by 77 percent. A record number of nearly 400,000 joined the registry in Michigan last year.

Registrations have surged since May, when a policy went into effect requiring Secretary of State branch office employees, as time permits, to ask customers at the counter if they would like to join the state’s donor registry. The department has also strengthened its partnerships with donation advocates and taken other steps to promote registration, including placing reminders on printed and online forms for cus- tomers.

“With every day we are given, we have the opportunity to give of ourselves, help others and advance the common good,” said Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson. “By choos- ing to donate life, we can make a difference in the most profound way possible.”

Almost 3,000 people in Michi- gan are waiting for an organ trans- plant. Nationwide, there are more than 113,000. There are currently more than 2.5 million people on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

The latest donor registration numbers were welcomed by the leaders of Michigan’s top advocacy organizations.

“Creating an efficient and ef- fective donor registry system in Michigan requires commitment, dedication and passion,” said Lisa Langley, executive director of the Michigan Eye-Bank, which seeks to preserve and restore sight for people.

“The record number of citizens making this life-saving decision to join the donor registry is hearten- ing,” said Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s organ and tissue recovery organi- zation. “It shows that the message is getting out that every individual has the power to save and improve lives.”

For more information about or- gan donation and Secretary of State office locations and services, visit www.Michigan.gov/SOS. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/ MichSOS and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/MichiganSOS.

Customers also may call the De- partment of State Information Cen- ter to speak to a customer service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

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