Eversight Michigan Board member receives prestigious award from Secretary of State

April 12, 2017 – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson recognized April as Donate Life Month and presented Eversight Michigan Board Member Patty Jo Herndon with a special honor Wednesday during a visit to St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit.

Johnson presented Herndon the Shining Star Award in appreciation of her exceptional dedication, outstanding support and extraordinary efforts in eye, organ and tissue donation awareness.

Herndon, who is also President and CEO of the Michigan Donor Family Council and President-elect of Gift of Life Michigan Foundation, is a long-time supporter of Eversight Michigan. Donation advocacy is close to her heart because her sisters, Ellen and Maureen, were both donors.

"While losing someone you love can be unbearable, knowing others are allowed to have a second chance at sight or life through donation is a gift for grieving families,” Herndon said. “It’s an incredible honor to receive the Shining Star Award.”

Wednesday’s press conference also kicked off the start of Donate Life Day. Hundreds of volunteers from Eversight Michigan, Gift of Life Michigan and Lions and Lioness Clubs visited Secretary of State offices across the state to encourage residents to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. This year, their stories of hope, healing and life inspired 1,364 new people to sign up for the registry.

“We are so grateful to Secretary of State Johnson and her staff,” said Diana Kern, Executive Director of Eversight Michigan. “We’ve been able to partner with the Lions and Gift of Life Michigan to make a significant impact on those in need in our communities.”

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by visiting michigan.gov/sos or any Secretary of State office. Those who sign up receive a heart emblem for their driver’s license that indicates their decision to be an organ donor. A new ID with a permanent heart emblem is issued at renewal time.