April 27, 2019
Statement From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano:
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R, Corning) and Steuben County Clerk Judy Hunter held a press conference on Friday, at the Corning Department of Motor Vehicles encouraging area residents to register as organ and tissue donors. They noted that New York State’s donation rate lags far behind the national average. “We can, and we must, do better,” said Palmesano. “As legislators, we deal with so many issues in Albany. This is one that can actually save lives. Solving this problem doesn’t require complex legislation or a tremendous amount of money. We can solve it together by registering and encouraging our friends to register. It can be uncomfortable to think about death, but it’s really about life. Imagine your mother or father, your brother or sister, or your son or daughter needing a life-saving transplant,” said Palmesano. “Registering as an organ and tissue donor through the Donate Life NYS registry is easy and it would have a profound impact on the lives of many other New Yorkers,” said Hunter. They could be strangers. They could be your family members. Whoever they are, you would be giving them a new lease on life. Here at the Steuben County Department of Motor Vehicles, we will work with you to make sure that registering is simple and convenient. We are proud to partner with Assemblyman Palmesano and Donate Life NYS to encourage people to register today.”
“It is important to recognize April as ‘Donate Life Month’ here in Steuben County and across the state,” said County Manager Jack Wheeler. “Assemblyman Palmesano has long been a champion of this issue, and Steuben County supports all awareness efforts to encourage organ donation. Registering as a donor is simple, and it’s the right thing to do.”
Palmesano said that, in New York state, the statistics are alarming.
• Nearly 9,500 New Yorkers are on the transplant waiting list;
• 1,700 of them have been waiting longer than five years;
• We lose an average of 500 New Yorkers annually who are waiting for life-saving transplant;
• New York state’s donation rate is 30 percent, far behind the national average of 55 percent. Montana’s donation rate is 92 percent;
• Our donation rate is 51st of 52 states and territories;
• New York state has the third-highest need for transplants but the second- lowest donor enrollment.
Palmesano said there is some good news, however. “One person who donates at the time of their death can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of up to 75 others through eye and tissue donations,” he said. “I would like to thank Steuben County, and especially Steuben County Clerk Judy Hunter and her dedicated staff, particularly at the 3 local DMV offices, who have worked so diligently to promote organ donation awareness and registration in the county. Their efforts are showing. While the state donation registration rate is 30 percent, the donation rate in Steuben County has risen, and continues to rise, above the state rate. The current rate in Steuben County is 43.19 percent,” said Palmesano.
Palmesano and Hunter reiterated how easy it is to register. Area residents can register when they sign up for or renew their drivers licenses at area DMVs. It’s also quick and easy to enroll online at https://donatelife.ny.gov/register/.