Our Mission and Vision
The mission of Donate Life New York State is to increase organ, eye, and tissue donation in New York State. Our vision is to ensure a life changing transplant for every New Yorker in need.
Donate Life New York State (NYS) is a non-profit organization comprised of organ and tissue recovery organizations, health professionals and individuals whose lives have been affected by donation. We serve as the statewide liaison organization to Donate Life America. Donate Life NYS is committed to saving and enhancing lives through the miracle of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.
What We Do
New York State Donate Life Registry Operations
We are the state contractor administering and operating the New York State Donate Life Registry. The Registry plays an essential public health role, documenting 7,641,412 New Yorkers’ authorization to donate their organs, eyes, and/or tissues for the purposes of transplant and/or research upon their passing.
Registry Enrollment and Awareness Campaigns
We engage in multifaceted public outreach campaigns to increase enrollment in the NYS Donate Life Registry.
IMPACT (Inspiring and Motivating the Public to Act) Collaborative Partnerships
We support strategic collaborative partnerships with organizations and entities committed to advancing our mission. Partners are provided resources to increase public awareness of the lifesaving impact made by organ, eye, and tissue donors, and provide opportunities for the public to join the New York State Donate Life Registry.
Organ, Eye, and Tissue Donation Educational Curricula
We develop educational curricula aimed at increasing public and professional knowledge aimed at increasing self-efficacy on the topic of organ and tissue donation. Past educational programs were developed and disseminated to medical students, registered nurses, customer-service staff members at the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, high school students, and attorneys.
Social and Behavioral Research
We conduct social and behavioral research in order to better understand New Yorkers’ perception of organ and tissue donation, and determine the methods and means most effective at increasing donor registration rates.
Donation and Transplant Community Forums
We engage the greater donation and transplant community in collaborative and educational forums. Leveraging the collective expertise and collaboration of this community is an essential element to alleviating the organ scarcity crisis in our state.
We educate lawmakers on the lifesaving impact of organ, eye and tissue donation and pursue the introduction, enactment, and modification of legislation to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York. We have successfully championed legislation to add the donor designation question to voter registration forms, the New York State of Health online insurance marketplace, certain professional licensing applications, hunting and fishing licenses, HESC transactions, and MyBenefits.gov transactions; require DMV customers to answer the donor designation question on applications and renewals for driver licenses, learner permits, and non-driver IDs (Lauren’s Law); allow New Yorkers to enroll in the Registry via electronic signature; lower the age of eligibility to enroll in the Registry from 18 to 16 to align with the age New Yorkers can first obtain a learner permit; and update the state’s anatomical gift law, including comprehensive reforms to address barriers to donation, strengthen the autonomy of registered donors, and provide clarity to support the decisions of families making these vitally important and lifesaving anatomical gifts (New York Gift Act).
Donate Life New York State was created as a result of efforts undertaken by the New York State Task Force to Increase Organ and Tissue Donation. The Task Force, established by the Commissioner of Health in 1997, developed and implemented many important policy initiatives such as: the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry; the routine referral law; and special projects directed at increasing organ, tissue and eye donation in New York.
The Task Force, under the direction of the Department of Health (DOH), developed a strategic plan in 2001 that included the creation of a separate 501(c)3 to provide a vehicle for attracting funding from other sources while at the same time continuing to act on the agenda created by the Task Force. The members of the Task Force provided working capital to create a nonprofit organization named the New York Alliance for Donation. Corporate development occurred in 2002 with operations beginning in 2003.
In 2016, the New York Alliance for Donation was awarded the contract to design, develop, operate, and promote an enhanced organ and tissue donor registry serving the people of the state. In October of 2017, a modernized and user friendly New York State Donate Life Registry was launched. At that time, we rebranded as Donate Life New York State, aligning our name with other organizations operating Donate Life registries across the nation.