New Tissue Donation Program Breathes New Hope into “Donate Life Month”
WC Medical Examiner & Nevada Donor Network Create Lifesaving Program

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Amy Ventetuolo

Reno, Nev. April 3, 2018. The month of April marks Donate Life Month around the nation, but a special collaboration in northern Nevada is breathing new life into the hope that comes with tissue and cornea donation.

The Washoe County Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and non-profit Nevada Donor Network (NDN) have teamed up to create a tissue, and cornea donation program which will now give the opportunity for donation to more Nevadans than ever before. When deaths occur outside of a hospital setting, tissue and cornea donation may still be a possibility. But unless an organ and tissue procurement organization (such as Nevada Donor Network) is notified, registered donors or families who may choose donation as a lasting legacy for their loved ones may never have that opportunity. In addition to Washoe County, with 18 other counties in Nevada and California served by her office, Dr. Laura Knight, Washoe County Chief Medical Examiner & Coroner, saw this problem as an opportunity her office could help solve.

“If a person died at home, or at some other location outside of a medical facility, there was no chance for eye or tissue donation to help someone else survive or thrive,” says Knight. She found a partner to bridge this gap in the Nevada Donor Network, who has facilitated a similar partnership with the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

“We are honored to collaborate with Dr. Knight and her team to begin this partnership,” says Joe Ferreira, president and CEO of Nevada Donor Network. “It allows us to provide more precious gifts on behalf of heroic donors, and hopefully give some measure of comfort and healing to families whose loved ones leave a lasting legacy through donation.”

In addition to the critical need for lifesaving organ transplants, 1 million tissue transplants are completed each year in the United States.  Donated tissues such as skin, bone and heart valves can heal and save lives for patients facing life-threatening burns, torn ligaments, and musculoskeletal injuries. Nearly 50,000 people annually will receive the gift of sight through cornea donation.

MEDIA NOTE: To see how impactful a tissue, eye or organ donation can be, check out this newly-released video:

To register as a donor, please visit:



Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »