Rockland leaders boost organ donation effort


NEW CITY, NY  —  Rockland County Executive Ed Day, District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe, County Clerk Paul Piperato and Sheriff Louis Falco today announced a renewed push in the County’s ongoing effort to increase enrollment in the New York State Donate Life Registry.

Through a partnership with the nonprofit New York Organ Donor Network, Rockland County will seek to educate its workforce on the impact of organ, eye, and tissue donation.  Employees will then reach out to other local residents and encourage enrollment on the Donate Life Registry.

District Attorney Zugibe and County Clerk Piperato joined forces with NYODN in 2010 to help raise awareness of the statewide need for organ donation.   This unprecedented collaboration led to a two-fold increase in the number of registered donors in Rockland County.

“Becoming an organ donor is an act of true selflessness,” said County Executive Day.  “How often does a person make a decision to someday save the lives of up to eight others?  I know our employees will engage family and friends by detailing the need for and benefits of organ donation.”

Here in Rockland County, nearly 200 local residents are awaiting an organ transplant. Almost 11,000 individuals statewide are hoping to receive a life-saving donation.

The impact of organ, eye and tissue donation in New York alone is profound with 21,000 lives saved and more than 6,000 improved over the last 35 years.  However, despite the success, the lack of registered organ donors is contributing to a humbling statistic:  every 15 hours, a New Yorker dies while awaiting a transplant.

“With dozens of people in Rockland County currently awaiting a transplant, our latest initiative will leverage the power of our County workforce to increase donor rates,” said District Attorney Zugibe. “I am thrilled to collaborate again with the New York Organ Donor Network, the County Executive, County Clerk, Sheriff and others to lead this life-saving effort, which will become a model for others to follow.”

Rockland County Clerk Piperato said, “I am proud to say that my family and I are enrolled in the Donate Life Registry. I believe the ability for a person who has passed to save numerous lives is truly righteous and powerful. I hope that other Rockland residents will join us in this most worthy endeavor.”

Rockland County Sheriff Falco said, “Our government, working in cooperation with NYODN, will help to raise awareness and shine the light on the power of organ donation.  I know we can help to increase the list of potential life-savers in our communities by thousands.”

Only 22 percent of eligible New Yorkers –  about three-million residents – have signed up for New York’s registry. Most other states boast enrollment rates of 60 to 70 percent. The result is that in 2013, nearly 600 New Yorkers died while waiting for an organ transplant.

One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and those who give tissue can improve the quality of life for up to 50 sick or injured people.

The New York Organ Donor Network is a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant in the greater New York metropolitan area.  Learn more at   Additionally, the state Department of Health offers an online donor registry with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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