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Indiana Donor Network honors Johnson County Coroner’s Office

Indiana Donor Network honors Johnson County Coroner’s Office

Two central Indiana individuals and one organization have been recognized by Indiana Donor Network for undertaking exceptional efforts to advance organ and tissue donation and transplantation, either through direct professional work or advocacy on behalf of the mission of Indiana Donor Network.

This year’s Champions for Donation were honored at the 2024 Angel Fund Gala, hosted by Indiana Donor Network Foundation to raise critical financial support for organ transplant recipients and families of organ donors.

Champions for Donation are individuals and organizations that make exceptional efforts to advance organ and tissue donation and transplantation through direct professional work or advocacy on behalf of the mission of Indiana Donor Network. Past honorees since 2021 have included state lawmakers, physicians, medical directors, educators, and state and local governmental agencies.

This year’s honorees are Susie Guyer of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Mike Keller of Keller Mortuary Services, and the Johnson County Coroner’s Office, under the leadership of Coroner Michael Pruitt.

“These Champions for Donation go out of their way to help save and enhance lives through their partnership with Indiana Donor Network,” said Indiana Donor Network President and CEO Kellie Tremain. “We are grateful for their support and advocacy and for the opportunity to honor their hard work in such a meaningful way.”

Susie Guyer

As chief communication and engagement officer at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Susie Guyer is charged with expanding the BMV’s focus on engaging Indiana residents and businesses.

Nearly 99% of all organ donor registrations occur at local BMV branches. Guyer has been instrumental in increasing organ donation education for Hoosiers when they conduct business at their local BMV branch. One such initiative was the Mascots4Life campaign, which featured the Indianapolis Colts’ mascot Blue in donation education materials at all the state’s 137 BMV branches.

The Fishers resident was the BMV’s former executive director of marketing and communications and worked in the automotive refinish industry in marketing, brand management, and vendor engagement roles before joining state government.

A lifelong Hoosier, Guyer earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University.

Mike Keller

Mike Keller, a state-licensed funeral director, is founder and owner of Keller Mortuary Services, Keller Cremation Services, and Family Forever Pet Cremation.

Keller has been an instrumental partner for Indiana Donor Network as a lead on the organization’s funeral directors council. He provides feedback and recommendations on behalf of funeral directors that have positively impacted relationships between funeral directors and Indiana Donor Network while better serving the families of organ and tissue donors. His dedication to increasing communication and collaboration helps improve lifesaving donation and transplantation.

The Indianapolis resident, originally from Peru, Ind., earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Indiana State University and an associate degree in mortuary science from Ivy Tech Community College. Keller is credentialed as a forensic crime scene investigator and a medicolegal death investigator.

Keller has been a member of the Indiana State Anatomical Board for five years and a former advisory board member of the mortuary science program at Ivy Tech for 15 years.

Despite age or medical history, anyone can sign up to be a donor at DonateLifeIndiana.org. Learn more about Indiana Donor Network.

Indiana Donor Network’s mission is to save and enhance the quality of life through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Its vision is to be a leader in organ and tissue recovery. Founded in 1987, the organization coordinates donation in 85 of the state’s 92 counties and serves transplant hospitals throughout the U.S.

Johnson County Coroner’s Office, under the leadership of Michael Pruit

The Johnson County Coroner’s Office leads death investigations in Johnson County. The department also has a tissue donation referral program with Indiana Donor Network.

Since implementing the program in 2020, the coroner’s office has called in 356 referrals for organ and tissue donation to Indiana Donor Network, resulting in 35 tissue donors and two cornea donors. These donors had the potential to impact the lives of 2,625 people through their gifts.

The coroner’s office is under the leadership of Michael Pruitt, who serves as Johnson County coroner and SWAT medic for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department. A 38-year fire service veteran who worked in fire services, the Bargersville resident, originally from Franklin, started his career as a firefighter and paramedic and retired after 20 years with the Wayne Township Fire Department in Indianapolis.

While with Wayne Township, he became state coordinator of Indiana Project Lifesaver, which provides search and rescue training to law enforcement and public safety agencies. He is a 15-year member of Indiana Task Force 1 FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team. He helped lead and implement rescue services during the federal government’s responses to four major U.S. hurricanes.

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