Mark DiOrio, Deseret News archives
Photo of the Organ Donor Memorial Wall at Library Square in Salt Lake City, April 19, 2006.

SALT LAKE CITY — About 70 percent of Utahns age 18 to 72 have joined the state's organ donation registry, earning the state national recognition for its efforts.

The Yes Utah registry received recognition in November for its superior performance, earning a silver medal award from Donate Life America, a national organ transplant awareness organization.

Utah was one of 12 states to receive the award, reaching the top tier in four of five key categories used to measure the effectiveness of the state's registry, thereby increasing the number of lives saved through transplantation.

Nationally, more than 116,000 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant of one of six vital organs and a number of bodily tissues, bone or tendons, according to