ITD's Pemble, Rhodes honored for efforts to
encourage organ, tissue donors by Idaho motorists
It seems like a simple question. Do you wish to be an organ, eye and tissue donor?
But the answer to that question, in a time of crisis, can be a source of comfort to the donor’s family and a life-saving decision for prospective transplant recipients. More than 100,000 people, roughly twice the population of Idaho Falls, are on a national waiting list for transplants.
Ed Pemble and Lynn Rhodes of ITD’s Division of Motor Vehicles understand the importance and life-saving potential of that simple question included on the Idaho driver’s license and state identification card applications. Pemble is the Driver Services Manager and Rhodes is the Driver’s License Program supervisor. Both were instrumental in establishing a process for sharing the gift of sight or live through organ donations.
The Yes Idaho Donate Life Coalition honored ITD’s partners for their years of dedicated service this week. Pemble and Rhodes joined guests from throughout the Northwest at the lunch and program Monday (Dec. 8) at the Grove Hotel in Boise.
Because of the vision and leadership shown by Pemble and Rhodes, Idaho ranks fourth in the nation for participation in the organ, tissue and eye donation program. In Idaho, 62 percent of the population has registered to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. The national average is around 38 percent.
For most people, the first time they really consider organ donation is when they apply for a driver’s license or ID card. Driver license personnel often are approached with questions and concerns about organ donation.
“Because of the outstanding cooperation from both Ed and Lynn, Idaho is one of the leaders nationally in Registry participation, thereby saving more lives,” said Alex McDonald, Director of Public Education for Intermountain Donor Services.
“I think I can speak for Lynn when I say that we are honored to receive this recognition, but really feel that we have just been doing our job,” Pemble said at the awards luncheon. “What I want to do is make Idaho number one in the nation. Knowing that one end result of all we do is saving lives helps make a big difference at the end of the day.”
Representatives of The Yes! Idaho Donate Life Coalition, which is made up of seven organizations that serve Idaho in the area of organ, eye, and tissue donation, say they are “privileged to work closely with Ed, Lynn, and the many other driver license personnel who serve the citizens of Idaho.”
Idaho residents can register as an organ, eye and tissue donor by marking yes when they apply for or renew their driver license or state ID card. To register today, log on to www.yesidaho.org and select “register online.”