Donation Essentials Blog

Record-Breaking Year for Organ Donation and Another Great Year for Tissue Donation – Colorado & Wyoming

DA Staff Cover Photo

Donor Alliance Breaks Record for Number of Organ Donors

For 2018, Donor Alliance, the federally designated non-profit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, recorded a record-breaking year for organ donation and transplantation, ultimately, saving more lives! Through the generous gifts of donors and their families, Donor Alliance facilitated more transplants than ever by 5.6 percent, exceeding the previous high set in 2013, and a 33 percent increase since 2009.

2018 Organ Donors Graphic

  • Organ Donors – a record 160 organ donors
  • Organs Transplanted – donations saved the lives of 489 people
    • Record year for kidney transplants, 268
    • Record year for heart transplants, 59

“We are incredibly proud and grateful to have facilitated a record number of lifesaving organ transplants in 2018,” said Sue Dunn, Donor Alliance president and CEO.

Another Great Year for Tissue Donation

Through procedures such as skin grafting and reconstructive surgeries, these life-saving and healing donations will help thousands of people regain mobility and have active lives after disease or trauma.

  • Tissue Donorsan amazing 1,684 tissue donors
  • Record year for skin donors, 1,512

“We continue to be inspired by the selfless donors and courageous families who make the powerful decision to give the gift of life.”

Annual Snapshot:

ORGAN Donation 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Local Organ Donors 148 109 134 139 144 160
Kidney Transplants 241 176 226 233 246 268
Liver Transplants 109 72 79 84 88 98
Heart Transplants 43 37 54 54 43 59
Lung Transplants 45 42 59 44 24 52
Pancreas Transplants 24 9 10 8 6 11
Small Intestine Transplant 1 1 0 1 0 1
Local Organs Transplanted 463 337 428 424 407 489
TISSUE Donation 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Local Tissue Donors 1,177 1,590 1,674 1,710 1,752 1,684
Bone Donors 660 830 911 822 832 902
Skin Donors 1,076 1,386 1,401 1,320 1,503 1,512
Heart Valve Donors 111 114 117 168 140 95
Joint Restoration Donors 106 112 119 89 97 90






“Additionally, with more than two-thirds of Colorado and Wyoming residents signing up to join the organ and tissue donor registry, our community’s incredible generosity is once again on display.”

More Coloradans & Wyomingites said Yes to Donation!

Colorado has one of the nation’s highest-performing state donor registries with 69% of driver’s license/ID card applicants registering as organ and tissue donors. Wyoming is also amongst the top 10 nationally at 60%.

  • More than one million residents signed up to become donors in 2018
  • An anticipated 1,058,000 in Colorado and 80,520 names in Wyoming added to the organ and tissue donor registries
  • The donor designation rate reached 69.04 percent in Colorado
  • The donor designation rate reached a record 60.34 percent in Wyoming

2018 DDR Graphic


2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Winner

This year also marked the culmination of a near decade-long performance excellence journey for Donor Alliance, with the organization being named a 2018 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winner. The award honors exemplary U.S. organizations and businesses that demonstrate an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership and administrative improvement. Donor Alliance was recognized for its dedication to continuous improvement and achievements in engagement, organizational effectiveness and sustainability, which are instrumental in the organization’s work to maximize all donation opportunities.


“This support coupled with the expanded use of innovative technologies and dedication to the mission helped save more lives than ever in our region last year.”



Innovative Technologies

Hope Act

As a result of a decade-long performance excellence journey; the organization enacted a number of innovative processes last year that supported the increase in lives saved:

  • Facilitation of the first donor under the HOPE Act (meeting HIV+ criteria)
  • Implementation of a CT scanner to help maximize the gift of life by allowing a single liver to be transplanted into two donors



Record Year for Transplants Locally

Donor Alliance partnered with the area’s 110 acute care hospitals and four transplant centers to set records in a number of additional areas in 2018, including the coordination of 167 additional transplants from donors outside our region. Additionally, 173 transplants from living organ donors at our area’s four transplant centers saved even more lives.

Donor Alliance Service Area and Partners


How You Can Help

Despite the marked achievements for donation and transplantation across the region in 2018, 2,000 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. With these patients in mind, Donor Alliance continues to tirelessly educate the public on the need for donation and collaborate closely with hospital and other partners throughout the two-state area. For more information about donation, or to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit or

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