Organ Donation is Up in Monroe County; Officials Say an Easier Process Should Help Even More

Apr 11, 2014

Credit urmc.rochester.edu

Twenty-six percent of Monroe County residents have signed up as organ donors on the statewide registry. That's an 8 percent increase in just the last few years.

But officials say that number would be much higher if the registration process was easier.

Amy James, community education manager for the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, says the state is working on a new system where donors will be able to sign up on line. Right now, they have to fill out a paper form at the DMV or a community event. "We were talking this morning about Liam Neeson being on 60 Minutes recently talking about his wife's organ donation story. I was curious how many people saw that and wanted to sign up at that moment, and couldn't do that yet. So this will move us towards that ability to on the spot, in the moment, become an organ donor." 

James says the online registry should be completed by late this year or early next year.

She says there are nearly 500 patients at Strong Memorial Hospital and almost 11,000 patients statewide currently awaiting organ transplants.