Safety and Homeland Security Celebrate Donate Life Month

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NASHVILLE–April is National Donate Life Month, and the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security are encouraging Tennesseans to register for organ donation at one of its Driver Service Centers across the state. Citizens may also enroll through the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor registry.

Donate Life Month has also spawned an initiative called “Flags Across America,” recognizing the thousands of donors and recipients whose lives have been affected by organ, eye and tissue donation. The department will participate in a Flag Raising Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19 at the Hart Lane Driver License Center in Nashville, and Monday, April 25 at 11 a.m. (EST) at the driver license facility in Johnson City, Tenn.

“Our partnership with Donate Life Tennessee has increased public awareness of organ donation and urged many to take action,” said the department’s Driver Services Director Michael Hogan. “Fortunately, the registration process is simple; checking “YES!” on your driver license application or renewal can potentially save someone’s life.”

A small red heart will be placed on the driver licenses of organ donors. Despite falling short of the nationwide goal to register 50 percent of each state’s licensed drivers, Tennessee’s registry is growing quickly. As of March 14th, over 1.5 million (1,540,234) Tennesseans have signed up through the Department of Safety’s Driver Service Centers or the online Donate Life Tennessee Registry. On average nearly 3,500 people are added each week.

Over 110,000 people across the country, 2,500 in Tennessee, are waiting for the call that will save their lives. The generosity of donors and their families make the gifts of organ and tissue donation possible.  Last year, 26,214 people received life saving transplants, with 638 of those being in Tennessee. Additionally, over 800,000 lives are impacted every year with tissue and eye donation in the United States.

National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. The annual April celebration features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Currently, there are 48 states that have Donor Designation Registries, and 83 million people have registered nationwide. Tennesseans can register to be a donor at any Department of Safety Driver License Center or with Donate Life Tennessee at www.tndonorregistry.org

Donate Life Tennessee is a non-profit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations (OPO), responsible for facilitating the donation process in Tennessee: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.

For further information contact:
Lisa Clark
Senior Public Relations
Donate Life Tennessee
Tennessee Donor Services
(865) 588-1031
(865) 250-1950 (Mobile)
lclark@dcids.org

The Tennessee Department of Safety’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to ensure the safety and general welfare of the public. The department encompasses the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Office of Homeland Security and Driver License Services. General areas of responsibility include law enforcement, safety education, motorist services and terrorism prevention.