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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
April 19, 2010

Poonam Alaigh, MD, MSHCPM, FACP
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
New Jersey Celebrates Donate Life Month Encourages organ donation among residents


 

In recognition of April as “Donate Life Month,” Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh and Motor Vehicle Commission Acting Chief Administrator Raymond Martinez today urged all New Jersey residents to become organ and tissue donors. 

 

National “Donate Life Month” is the perfect time to consider the difference you can make in the lives of others through organ donation,” said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Alaigh.  “I urge all residents to register as organ donors. Just one person can make a difference in as many as 50 lives. The gift of life is truly the greatest gift of all.

 

Nationally, there are more than 106,000 people—including nearly 4,600 New Jersey residents—on a waiting list to receive a life-saving organ transplants, according to the New Jersey Sharing Network.

 

“With the click of a mouse or the check of a box, it’s simple to become a life saver through the MVC,’’ Martinez said. Organ donor registration is available online or in-person at your local Motor Vehicle Commission agency. For more details please visit www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/organ_donor.htm

 

“With more than 25 million customer contacts each year, the MVC has the ability to reach a large audience and bring greater awareness to sharing the gift of life,” said Martinez. “In our agencies alone, we have educated customers and registered more than two million organ and tissue donors, affirming our strong partnership with organ procurement organizations community.”

 

“NJ Sharing Network is excited to work with state officials to increase awareness about what the needs are in our communities as it relates to increasing organ and tissue donation for life-saving transplant surgery not only during National Donate Life Month, but year-round,” said NJ Sharing Network’s President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Roth.

 

“We have a lofty goal of increasing organ donor designations by 250,000 new registrants this year either at the Motor Vehicle Agencies or through online registration,” said Roth. 

 

The need for organ transplants and the shortage of donors affects people of all ethnic backgrounds. However, the need for organ donation is greatest among African Americans and Hispanics because they have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and obesity—diseases which more often require transplants.

 

Currently, 53 percent of organ recipients are minorities, but only 15 percent are donors. 

 

As part of “Donate Life Month,” the NJ Sharing Network is making a special effort to reach diverse communities and encourage members of minority and multicultural populations to register as organ donors.

 

Organizations interested in raising awareness about organ donation can work with NJ Sharing Network and Donate Life NJ to create public service announcements, sponsor press conferences, link their websites to www.donatelifenj.org and organize donor registry drives in conjunction with community events.  For more information on working with the NJ Sharing Network to encourage increased donor designations please visit www.sharenj.org.

 

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