WESTWOOD, KS – January 16, 2017 –Midwest Transplant Network’s service area of the state of Kansas and the western two-thirds of Missouri reached a new record high in 2016 with 228 organ donors. Donor heroes contributed to 728 lifesaving transplants, a 23 percent increase in the number of lives saved from 2015. Additionally, 1,352 tissue and cornea donors potentially provided life-enhancing gifts to up to 55,000 recipients.

“We are thankful for those who have chosen to give the gift of life,” said Midwest Transplant Network Chief Executive Officer Rob Linderer. “It is because of those donors, as well as our hospital and professional partners, that we are able to fulfill our mission of saving lives through organ and tissue donation.”

In the U.S. in 2016, organ transplants performed reached a new record high for the fourth consecutive year, according to data from United Network for Organ Sharing. For the year, 33,606 transplants were reported, representing an 8.5 percent increase over the 2015 total and increase of 19.8 percent since 2012.

“With the record breaking year locally and nationally, it is important to continue to highlight the critical importance of donation and to join your state’s donor registry,” said Midwest Transplant Network Chief Operations Officer Jan Finn. “While the number of donors has increased, the number of people added to the waiting list has increased at a much higher rate.”

At the end of 2016, 66 percent of adults in Kansas are listed in the Kansas Donor Registry and 73 percent of adults in Missouri are listed in the Missouri Donor Registry. To join the donor registry today, visit YesTheyWantMe.com.