received a Gold Donor Designation Medal of Honor from Donate Life America in recognition of its role in registering people for organ donation through driver license and ID card issuance. Donate Life Northwest presented DMV Administrator Tom McClellan with the medal at its “Lifesavers Breakfast” at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland on Nov. 14.
States receiving medals reached the top tier in at least three of five key categories including: a 50 percent or greater donor designation rate, or the rate at which individuals join the registry expressed as a percentage of licensed drivers of ID card holders; 50 percent or more of all state residents age 18 and older registered as donors; and 40 percent or more each in organ, eye and tissue donors who are registered at their time of death.
Gold medals reflected achievement in all five areas, silver in four areas and bronze in three, all for the year 2011.
Oregon was among 10 states to receive the gold medal. The other nine gold-medal states were Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio, Washington and Wyoming.
Whenever people apply for an Oregon driver license, instruction permit or ID card, DMV field office staff asks people if they would like a “D” printed on their card to indicate their desire to be an organ donor. About 400 DMV Field Services employees at 60 offices throughout Oregon are the driving force behind asking customers the question and registering people for the donor program.
Roughly 2.2 million of Oregon’s 3.1 million drivers and ID card holders are registered as organ donors. About 71 percent of Oregon residents aged 18 years and older are registered donors, putting Oregon among only five states that exceed the 70 percent level.
Since 1975, DMV has been the main gateway for organ, eye and tissue donors in Oregon. In fact, 98.6 percent of those who sign up for the state’s donor registry come through a DMV office. The remaining 1.4 percent registers directly with Donate Life Northwest
via online or paper forms.