Ministry Health Care Facilities throughout central and northern Wisconsin are pledging their support to a simple but highly effective addition to the state’s health care system that could save or enhance thousands of lives over the next decade.
Wisconsin’s new, web-based online Donor Registry will, for the first time, allow Wisconsin citizens to legally authorize organ, tissue and eye donation with a click of a button.
“Wisconsin people are already among the most generous organ donors in the nation. This will allow us to do even more to save or improve the lives of our family, friends and neighbors,” said Sharon Karow, R.N., organ and tissue donor liaison at Ministry Health Care’s Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill.
“This new Registry means that anyone over the age of 15½ can grant legal authorization in advance to donate their organs, tissue and corneas when they die,’’ said Martha Mallon, President of Donate Life Wisconsin and Organ and Tissue Donor Promotion Director with the Wisconsin Department of Health. “Experiences with online registries in other states show that even more Wisconsin residents will register as donors because it is far easier and more efficient to do so.’’
Prior to the Registry, Wisconsin residents could state their donation wishes when they received or renewed their drivers’ license or state I.D. But that information wasn’t available to donation professionals.” Added Mallon, “That’s why it is still extremely important that everyone who wishes to be registered as a donor, including those who already have an orange dot on their driver’s license, sign up on the online Registry.”
Because donation professionals will have immediate 24/7 access to a person’s donation decision, grieving families are no longer burdened by that decision.
“This new Registry is secure and confidential. It is easy to use – and if potential donors change their minds it is easy do so,’’ adds Mallon.
“We’re encouraging everyone, even those with orange dots on their driver’s license or state I.D., to sign up for organ, tissue and eye donation using the online Registry,” said Mallon.
In addition, she said, Madison will host the 2010 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games® in July, making Wisconsin the center of the nation’s organ, tissue and eye donation efforts this year.
Good Samaritan Health Center has also installed a permanent recognition inside of its main entrance to pay tribute to organ donors and transplant recipients in Lincoln County. “We have installed a Donate Life America flag inside of our main entrance in honor of organ, eye and tissue donors everywhere,” added Karow.
More information about organ, tissue and eye donation is available by contacting Karow at 715.539.5089 or firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting yesiwillwisconsin.com.