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New York Alliance for Donation Applauds Creation of Public/Private Partnership for Administration of Donate Life Registry

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April 8, 2014

Public/Private Partnership Saves Lives Of New Yorkers By Creating A User Friendly and Modernized Organ, Eye and Tissue Registry

ALBANY, NY April 8, 2014- The New York Alliance for Donation (NYAD) thanks Governor Cuomo and members of the NYS Senate and Assembly for taking decisive steps to improve the performance of the New York State Donate Life Registry. The 2014-15 State Budget allows for the transfer of administration of the state donor registry to a not-for-profit organization with experience facilitating organ, eye and tissue donation.

NYAD is a not-for-profit organization comprised of organ and tissue recovery organizations throughout New York State, health professionals and individuals whose lives have been affected by donation. NYAD's mission is to increase organ, eye and tissue donations to ensure every New Yorker in need of a transplant receives one. On behalf of the donation community, NYAD applauds the Governor and State Legislature for allowing the creation of a public/private partnership for the administration of the New York State Donate Life Registry.

This administrative alteration is a national best practice employed by eight of the top ten state registries with the highest donor designation share (percentage of adult population enrolled in the registry). "This change in policy will save and improve lives of New Yorkers by creating a technologically advanced, highly-functioning and user-friendly organ, eye and tissue donor registry," said NYAD's Executive Director, Aisha Tator. "New York is putting into place a foundational building block that will help 'move the needle' on organ, eye and tissue donation in our state."

"I want to thank Governor Cuomo and members of the Senate and Assembly for their efforts concerning the Donate Life Registry. With their help we will be able to continue to educate New Yorkers on the wonderful gift of organ donation. It will save thousands of lives in New York. I vow to continue to share my story in hopes of inspiring people so they choose "yes" to saving lives," said Lauren Shields, 12 years old, heart transplant recipient

"I was a happy and healthy kid when I got sick and found out I needed a kidney transplant. I realized this could happen to anyone which inspired me to do whatever I can to increase donation. I want to provide new hope for those people waiting for a transplant," Rachael Adler, 13 years old, kidney recipient.

"Action needed to be taken and we had to develop a more effective way to operate the New York State Donate Life Registry. Continuing to have one of the lowest performing registries in the nation, while there are more than 10,000 New Yorkers waiting for a transplant, was not an option," said NYS Senator Kemp Hannon. "There are great benefits to using advanced technologies and New York needs to start utilizing these types of modern tools in conjunction with its donor registry to help patients that are in critical need of life saving transplants."

"The Donate Life Registry is an issue whose time has finally come. New York will now join nearly every other state by establishing this partnership with a private organization to increase organ donations. I am proud to have been a sponsor of the original registry legislation. It gives new hope to thousands of New Yorkers waiting for their chance to receive the gift of life through an organ transplant," said Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.

"The importance of creating a modernized online donor register is paramount to increasing the number of New Yorkers who are proudly willing to give the gift of life," said Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester). "As the Senate sponsor of Lauren's Law, I am proud of the work we have done to increase organ donation. However, I realize that there is more work that needs to be done. I'm proud that the Senate was able to support funds in this year's New York State budget for an online registry, as well as funds to promote it."

"The 2014 budget takes important steps towards improving the organ donation system," said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried. "The launch of a public-private partnership will upgrade and modernize our organ donation registry. Organ donation is a life-saving act, and better education and outreach will help New York improve our donation rates."