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Web Portal Makes Organ Donation Easy
Date:8/20/2007

Signing Up Online Simplifies the Donor Designation Process and Saves Lives

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Statewide organ donation groups today formally unveiled a Web portal that will enable individuals to sign up as organ donors online - rather than waiting until their driver's license or photo ID card is up for renewal or visiting a driver's license center in person.

The Web portal, http://www.donatelife-pa.org, will link visitors to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Driver and Vehicle Services Web site, where they can add the organ donor designation using the online service. The entire process takes on average less than 90 seconds, and has the potential to save and enhance more than 50 lives.

The Web portal was developed as part of the "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Power" campaign, a collaborative educational and outreach effort to encourage individuals to say "yes" to organ and tissue donation. The campaign is sponsored by the Departments of Health and Transportation, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) in western Pennsylvania, and Gift of Life Donor Program in eastern Pennsylvania.

"We believe it is time to make the process of signing up to be a designated organ donor easier, so that the potential of more lives being saved is increased," said Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Calvin B. Johnson.

Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Allen D. Biehler said PennDOT is honored to support these life-saving organizations by offering this online service.

"Currently, 43 percent of licensed drivers and photo ID card holders in Pennsylvania are registered organ donors," he said. "The online registration option is a quick and easy way for Pennsylvania's licensed drivers and photo ID card holders to give the gift of life - it's the greatest gift anyone can give."

Currently, 6,730 Pennsylvanians await a life-saving organ transplant, of the total 95,323 waiting nationwide. The number of organ donors has nearly doubled since 1994 - the year Pennsylvania's Act 102 that helped regulate donation was enacted - growing to 587 statewide in 2006. But CORE and Gift of Life's collective work is far from complete, and 2007 will see a continued focus on more lives being saved.

"We know most people support organ donation - and we want to let everyone know they now have the ability to go online today 24 hours a day, seven days a week and put the designation on their driver's license or photo ID card," said Howard M. Nathan, Gift of Life's president and CEO. "Just click on the 'Sign Up Now' button on http://www.donatelife-pa.org and in 90 seconds, you can register to help save 50 lives."

"We are delighted to be able to offer individuals an easy, convenient way to sign up to be an organ donor," said Susan A. Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. "We believe the simplicity and ease of the sign-up process will result in many more organ donors in our state."

CORE is a regional not-for-profit agency that is the primary call center and intermediary for the organ recovery and allocation process that serves 156 hospitals and more than six million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County in New York. CORE has helped to pioneer organ procurement allocation and recovery for this region since it was founded in 1977 as the Pittsburgh Transplant Foundation.

Since 1974, Gift of Life has served as the link between donors and patients awaiting life-saving transplants in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. In that tenure, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 25,000 life-saving organ transplants and hundreds of thousand tissue transplants.

Funding for the Web portal was provided from the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund.


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SOURCE Gift of Life Donor Program; Center for Organ Recovery &
Education

Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.

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