Arkansas Blood Institute Pioneers First-of-its-Kind Donor Recognition Program

LITTLE ROCK, Aug. 2, 2018 – Whether given or received, words of gratitude can be powerful.

To harness the power of a simple “thank you,” Arkansas Blood Institute has pioneered Thank-The-Donor™, the nation’s first web-enabled technology that connects blood recipients with their donors while complying with medical privacy laws.

With this patent-pending technology, patients can send a note, photo or video to their donor using a smartphone, tablet or computer. The groundbreaking program breaks communication barriers with a new and different way to share a “thank you” while protecting the anonymity of both donor and patient. 

“Few patients who receive donated blood ever know or have the opportunity to offer their gratitude with their blood donors,” said John Armitage, M.D. president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute.  “Thank-The-Donor™ conveniently facilitates uplifting connectedness between a blood donor and recipient.”

Baptist Health in Little Rock was one of the first hospitals to launch the program earlier this year.  Now, a green, heart-shaped tag is affixed to every blood bag from Arkansas Blood Institute, encouraging recipients or their families to visit ThankTheDonor.org.

“Every three minutes in Arkansas an ill or injured patient requires a blood transfusion,” said Dr. Armitage. “Every drop of blood we provide comes from volunteer donations. Thousands of selfless Arkansans give this gift of life every year. While they don’t do it for the recognition, we hope this program will help show our donors just how special their donation is for the patient who receives it.”

Patients who receive blood products like red cells, plasma and platelets can use the Thank-The-Donor™ technology to express their appreciation to their donor.  Ben Evans needed blood from more than 40 donors during a life-threatening health crisis that left him hospitalized for 60 days.  He takes every opportunity he can to thank his blood donors for their priceless gift.

“Without those blood products, I wouldn’t have made it.  42 units of blood means a lot of people took an hour out of their day to help a complete stranger,” said Evans.  “I have had the opportunity to give blood twice since receiving it as my way of paying back those that gave me the chance at life—by ‘Paying it Forward’.”

Arkansas Blood Institute is part of the sixth largest nonprofit blood collector in the United States, serving more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities in Arkansas.

To learn more about Thank-The-Donor™, please go to ThankTheDonor.org.

 

Bob Grant