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For Release:
January 07, 2009

Heather Howard

For Further Information Contact:
Lilllian Pfaff or Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160

Health and Senior Services Commissioner, NJHA and NJ Businesses to Launch Year-Long Workplace Blood Drives to Alleviate Blood Shortage



Editor’s Note:  A new web site at features a video of Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard explaining the importance of donating blood.


**Also note Photo Op: Commissioner Howard will donate blood at approximately 2:45 p.m. following today’s 2 p.m. press conference.


Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard, the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) and the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition will hold a press conference Wednesday, January 7 to call on hospitals, businesses and government to hold more workplace blood drives to alleviate the state’s blood shortage and save lives.


The press conference will take place at 2 p.m. in the Garden Room at the New Jersey Hospital Association at 760 Alexander Road in Princeton.  


A blood drive will also take place at the Hospital Association beginning at 9 a.m.


The blood drive is part of National Blood Donor Month. Speakers at the press conference will include Commissioner Howard, NJHA President and CEO Elizabeth Ryan and Kevin Rigby, vice president of public affairs and communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. 


More than 500,000 units of blood are transfused in New Jersey hospitals each year.  However, donations from volunteer blood donors have not kept pace.  In 2007, New Jersey used 59,011 more units of blood than it collected and had to borrow from other states that are now facing blood shortages of their own.


To alleviate this persistent blood supply deficit, the coalition is calling on employers to hold more workplace blood drives throughout the year.  Working with New Jersey’s blood centers across the state, employers can make blood donation easier and more convenient for their employees.


More than 60 percent of New Jersey adults are eligible to donate blood, yet only 2.5 percent donate on a routine basis.  If New Jersey could double its donor participation to the national average of five percent, the state would eliminate its blood shortage.



For travel directions to the New Jersey Hospital Association, please log onto:



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