Donation Essentials Blog

Donor Alliance 2016 Year in Review

Last year was another remarkable year for organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Colorado and Wyoming with 139 generous organ donors making 424 lifesaving transplants possible. Donor Alliance, the federally designated non-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, also worked with the families of a record 1,710 tissue donors to recover lifesaving and healing tissue to provide bone and skin grafts to thousands of recipients in need.

Organ and tissue donation in Colorado and Wyoming 2016The organization, which educates the public on organ and tissue donation and manages the state donor registries in Colorado and Wyoming, also announced that 971,982 names in Colorado and 89,111 names in Wyoming were added to the registries in 2016. The donor designation rate, or percentage of individuals joining the state donor registry, was at an all-time high this past year in Colorado with 69.32 percent of the state’s licensed drivers and ID card holders on the registry and 57.64 percent in Wyoming. The two states maintained some of the highest donor designation rates in the country.

“In reflecting on 2016, we continue to be incredibly thankful for our partnerships with the hospitals and transplant centers in our service area, as well as the Division of Motor Vehicles, whose 53 driver license offices continue to offer residents the chance to save lives through organ and tissue donation to the thousands of people they serve in both Colorado and Wyoming. Most importantly, we are grateful to the many Colorado and Wyoming residents that have made the decision to register as organ, eye and tissue donors,” said Sue Dunn, Donor Alliance president and CEO. “While we are encouraged by the strong donor designation rates that we have enjoyed in Colorado and Wyoming for a number of years, we are reminded that there are still more than 2,500 people in Colorado and Wyoming that continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. As always, we will remain dedicated to our mission to save lives through organ and tissue donation, and look forward to another impactful year in 2017.”

2016 was another landmark year for tissue donation and transplantation, including bone, skin, heart valve and joint donations. Topping 2015’s record year of 1,674, Donor Alliance worked with the families of 1,710 generous tissue donors in 2016 and recovered enough tissue to heal or save the lives of tens of thousands in need. As medical technology advances and eligibility criteria expand it has become possible to utilize more types of tissue, which has allowed more people to give the gift of life through tissue donation. Additionally, Colorado and Wyoming’s increasing number of registered donors has translated into more tissue available for transplant.

In addition to the increase in tissue donors, Donor Alliance, which educates about organ and tissue donation and manages the recovery of tissue and organs, facilitated organ recoveries from 139 donors in 2016, helping make 424 lifesaving transplants possible.

Despite the generosity of donor family members and the efforts of Donor Alliance staff and partner organizations, just over 2,500 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit or

ORGAN Donation 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Local Organ Donors 126 148 109 134 139
Kidney Transplants 203 241 176 226 233
Liver Transplants 84 109 72 79 84
Heart Transplants 47 43 37 54 54
Lung Transplants 34 45 42 59 44
Pancreas Transplants 21 24 9 10 8
Small Intestine Transplant 1 1 1 0 1
Total Local Organs Transplanted 390 463 337 428 424
TISSUE Donation 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Local Tissue Donors 1017 1,177 1,590 1,674 1710
Bone Donors 555 660 830 911 822
Skin Donors 934 1076 1,386 1401 1320
Heart Valve Donors 105 111 114 117 168
Joint Restoration Donors 83 106 112 119 89
Donor Designation Rate 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Colorado 66.53% 67.27% 67.70% 67.82% 69.32%
Wyoming 59.11% 59.35% 59.58% 58.56% 57.64%

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