Nonprofit to enact new legislation and enhance mission across the state

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is set to roll out some new and exciting initiatives this fall 2015 to promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation statewide. The Maryland-based nonprofit has ambitious strategies supporting their mission to register every Maryland resident as an organ, eye and tissue donor.    

The Enhancing Organ Donation Rates Act

As of 10/1/15, the Enhancing Organ Donation Rates Act goes into effect for Maryland. Aimed at increasing registrants at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) as well as offering information about organ, eye and tissue donation at specific government offices across the state, this law creates new avenues toward increasing donor designations. The Act is twofold:

1. Heart or No Heart - Offering MVA customers interested in becoming a donor, or renewing their donor status, the choice to have the heart symbol noted on their driver’s license/identification card

Currently, and only through September 30, 2015, all Maryland residents who register as a donor at the MVA have a heart symbol printed on their license. The change is in effect as of October 1, 2015. “We have often heard that while persons support organ, eye and tissue donation, they would prefer to not have a symbol notating this decision on their license or ID card,” said Libby Wolfe, executive director of Donate Life Maryland.

The option offered to Maryland residents is the first of its kind for any state. By presenting this choice, DLMD hopes to see an increase in new registrants. “When it comes to registering as a donor, it’s not about what’s on your license or ID, it’s what’s in the Registry that counts.” said Wolfe. “We are excited about what this change can mean for our mission.” She concluded.

2. Government Offices - Reminding Maryland residents who are filing their will or obtaining a marriage license to register as a donor

DLMD has partnered with all Maryland Register of Wills and Court Clerks offices to offer residents filing their will, or obtaining a marriage license, registration information about organ, eye and tissue donation, thus allowing DLMD to access residents at different governmental points of service beyond the walls of the MVA.

“With Maryland having an 8-year license renewal process, we want to remind persons making important life decisions – such as filing their will or obtaining a marriage license – to take a moment to register as a donor and share their decision with loved ones.” said Wolfe. “We are also so thankful for the hard work of our Maryland legislators who helped us enact these initiatives during this past session.”

More than 122,000 Americans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  More than 3,635 are on the wait list in Maryland, with kidney being the most needed. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor go to www.DonateLifeMaryland.org.  

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is dedicated to saving and healing lives by registering organ, eye and tissue donors throughout the state of Maryland. Donate Life Maryland maintains and manages the official Maryland Donor Registry through a partnership with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and with oversight by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

A nonprofit organization, dedicated to changing the culture of donation in the State of Maryland, Donate Life Maryland encourages a statewide call to action for residents to be designated donors, facilitates donor designations and upholds an individual’s legal commitment to be a donor.

In addition, Donate Life Maryland works with similar organizations throughout the country in a collaborative effort to improve donor designation rates nationwide. This national collaborative effort is led by Donate Life America. Donate Life Maryland has a reciprocal relationship with its founding organizations, The Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Washington Regional Transplant Community and The Living Legacy Foundation, to provide comprehensive public education and outreach.

 

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