DENVER Thursday, July 18, 2019 -- Donate Life America presented the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles with two awards Wednesday, July 17, during the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Region 4 Conference in Denver.
The DMV took home the AAMVA Region 4 Gold Award for having the highest donor designation rate for the region in 2018. The DMV registered 69.1% of Coloradans seeking to register or renew their driver licenses or identification cards as organ, eye and tissue donors. The DMV received the AAMVA Region 4 Silver Award for donor designation rates in 2017 and 2016, with 67.98% and 69.32%, respectively.
"We work very hard to register as many people as possible when they visit our driver license offices," Driver License Director Brent Spahn said. "I could not be prouder of our front-line team members who help save lives through registering donors. This award is a testament to their efforts."
The DMV helped make 36,527 organ transplants possible across the U.S. in 2018 through donor registration, according to Donate Life America. In Colorado and Wyoming, 160 organ donors saved 489 lives in 2018 and 1,684 tissue donors saved and healed lives through their gifts of life. The DMV has a statutory partnership with Donor Alliance to educate the public about organ and tissue donation. It has been possible for many years to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor at the same time that you are applying for or renewing your driver license or ID card.
"We are grateful for and proud of our important partnership with the Colorado DMV," said Sue Dunn, president and CEO of Donor Alliance. "With 98% of residents registering their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at the Colorado DMV, we value the assistance employees give in providing educational materials and information to the public so they can make an informed decision."
The DMV also received the Donate Life America DMV Innovation Award for its collaboration with Donor Alliance.
The award recognizes the partnership and collaboration of the Colorado driver license training staff and Donor Alliance. New licensing technicians receive a 90-minute instruction block during the DMV's intensive, week-long Driver License Fundamentals class.
During the class, technicians learn: who Donor Alliance is, how the donor registry works, what the donation process is, what the facts about donation are and how to answer customers' questions.
Before the instruction block, driver license training staff gives new employees a survey to gauge their knowledge of Donor Alliance, its mission and how the DMV works with the nonprofit. New licensing technicians typically answer about 79% of the questions correctly.
After about five months, the driver license training team sends out another assessment for licensing technicians to complete. The results show marked improvement and retention of the information with about 94% of the questions being answered correctly.
Donate Life America and AAMVA identified the DMV's process as innovative.
"This award is humbling," said Driver License Training Supervisor Rhonda Reichel, who was the driving force behind the partnership. "Our training staff is constantly looking for ways to improve and our work with Donor Alliance is part of that drive. I'm just glad that we have a partner that's as dedicated to their mission as we are to training those who serve Coloradans."
"Rhonda and her team are very deserving of this award," said Anne Gaspers, Donor Alliance public education coordinator. "Each year, we look for ways to adjust the training to fit the needs of the driver license office employees and the questions they receive. Rhonda has been instrumental in providing input and helping make new ideas a reality."