Improved Administration of the NYS Donate Life Registry

By Mike Sosna
Published on April 20, 2014

The New York State budget was passed and included specific language allowing for the transfer of the administration of the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to a not-for-profit organization with experience facilitating organ, eye and tissue donation.

This was also specifically mentioned in Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address.

The Senate passed the bill last year. Special thanks is due to Long Island TRIO guest speaker Senator Kemp Hannon for sponsoring this important bill that will help New York State increase enrollment in the organ donor registry which will potentially help save many more lives.

Senator Hannon notes that eight of the top ten, and eleven of the top fifteen states rated in terms of registry performance have not-for-profit organizations whose sole focus is increasing organ, eye and tissue donation administering their state’s donor registry. It looks like New York State will follow this best practice model.

LI TRIO acknowledges the work of so many volunteers who made this possible and the leadership of Aisha M. Tator- Executive Director, New York Alliance for Donation

The original bill passed last year and was sponsored by Senator Kemp Hanon:

The New York State Senate passed a bill aimed at increasing organ donation in New York State. The bill (S.5046A), sponsored by Senator Kemp Hannon, Chairman of the Senate Health Committee, would provide that a non-profit contractor operate the New York State Donate Life Registry in an effort to increase donations.

“While New York State has the third highest need for transplantable organs, and one New Yorker dies every 15 hours awaiting a transplant, only 22 percent of our population is enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry,” said Senator Hannon. “My bill will increase enrollment by streamlining the registration process and creating new avenues for promotion.”

Currently, the organ donation registry is run by the state. New York State is 48th in the nation for organ donation, however, the state has a great need for transplantable organs, eyes, and tissue. This legislation would help New York increase enrollment in the Donate Life Registry by adopting the model of other states with the highest number of donors.

In eight of the top ten organ donation states, where more than 60 percent of eligible donors are on the registry, the operation and promotion of the registries have been turned over to non-profit organizations. Other large states such as California, Texas, Illinois and Florida have turned over their registries to a non-profit whose mission is dedicated to organ donation.

In his State of the State message delivered in Albany, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo outlined some of the state’s most important priorities and included increasing organ donation success rates and the promotion of organ donation as priorities.

The governor stated under his “Building Community: Health” theme the creation of a public-private partnership with the organ donation community to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

“New York has one of the lowest organ/tissue consent rates in the nation,” Mr. Cuomo said. In addition, he pointed out the New York donor registry “lags the country with an enrollment rate of 22 percent, compared to 45 percent reported by other states.”

More than 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for THe Gift Of Life.

Again, LI TRIO acknowledges the work of so many volunteers who made this possible and the brave leadership of Aisha M. Tator- Executive Director, New York Alliance for Donation