Broome County Clerk Joe Mihalko, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, and representatives from the medical and advocacy communities convened for a flag ceremony today to recognize National Donate Life Month which is celebrated every April.
The event featured words from Charlotte Hill, who’s husband Joseph Hill received a liver transplant 10 years ago last week in Rochester’s Strong Hospital.
Over nine thousand New Yorkers are currently waiting for a life saving organ transplant and 1,500 individuals have been waiting for five years or longer. Each year approximately 400 men, women, and children in New York State die because an organ does not become available in time. New York State has the 3rd highest need of donors in the nation, however, the state also has the 2nd lowest number of registered donors.
Due to residents being able to become an organ and tissue donor on their driver’s license application, county officials are leading a call for action throughout the region.
“As a public facing DMV office, we play an essential role in New York State’s Donate Life Registry and its enrollment process. In fact, in 2020, nearly 80 percent of all new registrations, or enrollments came through the DMV offices,” said Broome County Clerk Joe Mihalko. “The DMV engages with the public, and this issue more than any other agency in the state and we are deeply grateful for the support of our customers and citizens. Residents of Broome County have really stepped up to help the program. New York is the third highest need of donors in the country, and yet we’re the second lowest in registered donors. The Donate Life of New York State asks us, county clerk’s, to be key members in helping to save lives, through the organ and tissue donation program.”
The Donate Life flag is currently flying over the Binghamton City Hall on State Street.