SALT LAKE CITY - Utah was recently honored in Dallas, Texas with a gold medal for the superior performance of its donor registry.
Dr. David Sundwall, MD, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health will be presenting this award to the Utah Driver License Division to show appreciation for their professionalism and support. The presentation of the award will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 9:30 am, Utah Department of Health Cannon Building, 288 N. 1460 W., Room 128.
"The success of the donor registry has a direct correlation to lives saved. We could not have the success we have here in Utah without the support from the dedicated employees at the Driver License Division," stated Tracy Schmidt, Executive Director, Intermountain Donor Services.
States receiving medals reached the top tier in at least three of five key categories including: a 50 percent or greater donor designation rate [the rate at which individuals join the state donor registry as a percentage of licensed drivers and ID card holders]; 50 percent or more of all state residents age 18 and older registered as donors; and at least 40 percent of organ, eye and tissue donors authorized through state donor registries. Gold medals reflect achievement in all five areas, silver in four areas and bronze in three, all for the period of July 2009 to June 2010. Colorado, Louisiana, Ohio, Utah, Washington and Wyoming received gold medals.
Sundwall will be presenting the award to Nannette Rolfe, Director of the Utah Driver License Division. "Utah has an outstanding record of having a high percentage of our citizens who have become volunteer organ donors. While Intermountain Donor Services has been recognized for their important role in this accomplishment, it is an honor for me today to be able to recognize the Driver License Division for their important contribution to this effort," said Dr. Sundwall.
Sheila Baxter, donor mother, will also express the powerful role the driver license plays in organ donation. When her son Tyler turned 16, they discussed the decision to become an organ donor and Tyler marked yes on his driver license application. Three years later, Tyler was involved in an accident. The decision regarding organ donation was already made, relieving his family from the responsibility of making that important decision.
The citizens of Utah are also to be congratulated for their generous nature, but there is still work to be done. Currently there are over 400 people in Utah waiting for a life saving transplant. To learn more about organ, eye and tissue donation or to register online, go to www.yesutah.org.