DPS Examiners responsible for registering 98%
of Mississippi’s Registered Organ and Tissue Donors
Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials, Major Ken Brown and Captain James Kelly, were recognized by Donate Life Mississippi in Meridian on Wednesday for their efforts to register more Mississippians as organ, eye and tissue donors. Donate Life Mississippi is a union formed by Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency (MORA), Mid-South Transplant Foundation (MSTF) from Memphis, TN, and the Mississippi Lions Eye Bank (MLEB), to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donation.
“Major Brown and Captain Kelly have been instrumental in increasing donor designations in Mississippi through Driver Services,” said Chuck Stinson, the Director of Community Services and Relations for MORA. “DPS is responsible for 98% of the registrations across the state and this year we have seen a 2% increase in registrations per encounter thanks to the efforts of Major Brown, Captain Kelly and their examiners,” added Stinson.
Brown, the Director of Driver Services, says he is pleased with his examiners and their impact on saving lives but that the department, in conjunction with Donate Life Mississippi can always do more. “We can educate better to show them (DPS Examiners) why, asking people to be donors is important. We can also do more public events to show how we are changing lives.”
“We’re so glad to recognize the employees of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver Services. All of us at Donate Life Mississippi realize that it starts with them,” said Randa Lipman, Community Outreach Manager for MSTF. “They give Mississippians an opportunity to say ‘yes’ to being an organ and tissue donor which in turns helps save lives. We honor and salute them!”
DPS examiners are required by law to ask those receiving a new Mississippi Driver’s License or renewing a current one if they wish to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. To date, the DPS has registered nearly 745,000 of the 760,000+ Mississippians registered to be organ, eye and tissue donors.
This recognition comes during National DMV Appreciation Week across the country where Donate Life state teams and Donate Life America celebrate the work of the Motor Vehicle Departments (DMVs) across the country for their partnership and commitment to asking the donation question to their customers every day.
“Our DMV partners are the people on the front lines of service who have helped register more than 130 million donors”, says David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America. “Even with advances in technology, the DMV partnership remains a primary source of donor registrations. We could not have reached this milestone of registered donors and lives saved without the partnership and support of DMVs.”
Across the country, a new patient is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die each day awaiting a lifesaving transplant that never comes. One organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can save or heal the lives of 50 recipients or more.