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Secretary of State's Shining Star Award recognizes Ingham County Medical Examiner

JUNE 2, 2014Heart of A Warrior - Organ Donation Awareness

Dr. Joyce deJong honored for supporting tissue and eye donation

Lansing, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today awarded Ingham County Medical Examiner Dr. Joyce deJong with a Shining Star Award for her support of organ, tissue and eye donation.

"Every year, Dr. deJong's office makes dozens of referrals for tissue and eye donation, contacting Gift of Life Michigan or the Michigan Eye-Bank to find out if someone was a registered donor or seeking authorization from their families so that they may help others," Johnson said. "A quarter of all referrals to the Sparrow Medical Group originated from the Ingham County Medical Examiner's office. Because of this, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Eye-Bank regard Dr. deJong as their top champion in the medical examiner field statewide."

Johnson presented Dr. deJong with the award at the Capital Area SUPER!Center Secretary of State office in Lansing today.

"The ability to see, improvement of quality of life, and all the other benefits of tissue and eye donation are of key importance," deJong said. "If our office can do our job, determine the cause and manner of death, identify individuals, gather evidence, and at the same time allow families the opportunity to donate, and the opportunity to add even a thin silver lining to what is likely the darkest cloud of their life, we will. This is about families who want to donate and the recipients."

"We are absolutely thrilled that Dr. Joyce deJong has been recognized for the prestigious award from Michigan's Secretary of State," said Betsy Miner-Swartz of Gift of Life Michigan, who nominated Dr. deJong for the award. "She is among the best in the state at what she does, which is to serve families during their darkest days. She does her job seeking answers right alongside Gift of Life Michigan, making sure organ and tissue donation is also a priority. In doing so, she allows families to know that something good can come out of their immense tragedy. We appreciate and celebrate her dedication, work ethic and partnership."

To sign up on Michigan's Organ Donor Registry and to access some of the Secretary of State's most popular services, visit

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