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Colorado & Wyoming Awarded Gold Medals for High Rates of Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation

In a ceremony held October 4 in Grapevine, Texas, Colorado and Wyoming were among just 10 states awarded with gold medals by Donate Life America in recognition of their respective high percentages of residents who have generously pledged to be organ, eye and tissue donors through the states’ donor registries.

The medals were presented at the National Learning Congress for the Donation and Transplantation Community of Practice, sponsored by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Joining Colorado and Wyoming in receiving gold medals were: Alaska, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon and Washington.

“On behalf of the entire donation community in Colorado and Wyoming that has worked to provide the education and awareness that lead to our region’s high rates of donor designation, I am honored to accept these prestigious awards,” said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance, the federally-designated, non-profit organ procurement organization serving Colorado and most of Wyoming. “Colorado and Wyoming residents consistently continue to show their generosity by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors, propelling our states’ donor registries to the top in the nation, ultimately saving more lives.”

Colorado and Wyoming reached the top tier in all five of Donate Life America’s designation measurements for the 2011 calendar year. The awards recognized each state’s achievement of a 50 percent or greater donor designation rate (the rate at which individuals join the state donor registry as a percentage of licensed drivers and ID card holders); 50 percent or more of all state residents age 18 and older registered as donors; and at least 40 percent of actual organ, eye and tissue donors authorized through state donor registries.

In 2011, Colorado achieved a donor designation rate of 67 percent and approximately 66 percent of Colorado residents age 18 and older were registered as donors at year’s end. Last year, 63 percent of recovered organ donors, 58 percent of recovered tissue donors and 63 percent of recovered eye donors were authorized through the Donate Life Colorado donor registry.

In 2011, Wyoming achieved a donor designation rate of 59 percent and approximately 60 percent of Wyoming residents age 18 and older were registered as donors at year’s end. Last year, 83 percent of recovered organ donors, 69 percent of recovered tissue donors and 67 percent of recovered eye donors were authorized through the Donate Life Wyoming donor registry.

Additionally, Donor Alliance was recognized as a charter partner in the Workplace Partnership for Life Hospital Organ Donation Campaign at the National Learning Congress (NLC). Cheryl Dammons, Deputy Associate Administrator in the Health Care Systems Bureau at HRSA acknowledged all Workplace Partners, enrolled in the campaign before June 30, during the Medal of Honor Awards ceremony.

The Donate Life America award is an element of the Donor Designation Collaborative (DDC), a national initiative to improve organ, eye and tissue donation rates with goals of reaching 100 million designated donors and a 50 percent donor designation rate.

For more information about organ and tissue donation, please visit DonorAlliance.org. To register to be an organ and tissue donor, please visit DonateLifeColorado.org or call 303-329-4747 for more information.