Media Inquiries

Our Community Relations staff is available 24 hours a day to respond to media inquiries.  Contact Leslie Gamble, Community Relations Director, at 405-278-3119 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with questions or to schedule an interview.

Gardner Joins Arkansas Blood Institute

May 18, 2016 – Arkansas Blood Institute, the state’s nonprofit, volunteer blood center, announces the hiring of Jerald Gardner as an account consultant for the greater Little Rock area.

He will work directly with schools, civic groups, businesses and faith-based groups to schedule and conduct blood drives. He will also arrange mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, media and civic organizations interested in creating a culture of giving in the area. 
Jerald Gardner
Gardner has a prestigious 13-year track record in marketing within the telecommunications industry.  He was Employee of the Year for Dish Network in 2003, and recognized for Perfect Customer Quality by AT&T Advertising Solutions in 2006 and 2008.  Most recently, he worked with Verizon Wireless in Little Rock, setting the standard for new customer acquisition. 

Raised in Pine Bluff, Gardner graduated from the University of Central Arkansas.  He remains active as an alumni adviser for Phi Beta Sigma fraternity.

“I thrive on understanding what motivates various organizations and providing them the support to achieve their goals,” Gardner said. “Since blood is the key to health and the most basic of all needs, I am excited to be part of an Arkansas organization so focused on those most in need.  My focus will be on matching groups that share our culture of giving with opportunities to make a huge difference locally for patients.”

Arkansas Blood Institute welcomes groups interested in hosting blood drives or individual volunteer blood donors at its Little Rock donor center.  What began five years ago with exclusive agreements to provide every drop of blood needed for patients of major hospitals across western Arkansas has spread as far east as Pine Bluff and to Little Rock hospitals this past year.  Now, 23 Arkansas hospitals, including CHI St. Vincent hospitals and Arkansas Heart Hospital, rely exclusively on Arkansas Blood Institute deliveries daily.

Its new Little Rock donor center is located at the southeast corner of Markham and Shackleford. Anyone 16 or older who is generally in good health has the opportunity to save a local life by donating blood. The donor center is open at 101 S. Shackleford Rd., Suite 2, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Schedule your life-saving donation at one of our donor centers or a mobile drive near you!

“Blood Donor” Challenge Launched

February 1, 2016─ Arkansas Blood Institute invites all to take the “Blood Donor Challenge” between February 1 and May 15.  Blood given with the state’s nonprofit blood center saves the lives of patients in 23 Arkansas hospitals every day. Yet, national statistics show that less than 10 percent of those eligible to donate blood do so at least annually.

Healthy adults*, 16 and older, can typically give and will receive a “Blood Donor Challenge” T-shirt.

“Some of our friends and neighbors face the challenge of staying alive,” said Paulette Nieuwenhof, executive director, Arkansas Blood Institute, Little Rock. “We challenge those who are healthy but have never given life-saving blood to step up, and join the movement.  And, since our donors typically give only once or twice a year, we urge them to give more often.”  Donations can be made as often as every two months or six times a year.
Take the Challenge
Arkansas Blood Institute relies on donations from an average of 4,000 donors each month to meet the needs of patients in the area hospitals it exclusively serves. One single donation can save as many as three lives. It usually takes no more than an hour to donate.

Increases in first-time blood donors and repeat donations by current blood donors will be tracked.  The blood center is optimistic that the Challenge will spur people with negative blood types to donate.  Only 18 percent of the population has a negative type, but patients with those types must have it from donors with negative types. A person can learn his or her blood type by donating. 

Appointments to give are not required but can be made here.

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

Blood Donor Wins Destination Trip, Knows Importance of Blood Donation Personally

December 14, 2015 – When Chris Braswell, Little Rock, donated blood at Arkansas Blood Institute’s blood drive with Cumulus Media, Nov. 19, he knew it would make a life-saving difference for his fellow Arkansans.  But Braswell didn’t imagine his good deed would result in him winning the event’s grand prize destination trip.  That’s just what happened, though, and Braswell stopped by Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor center recently to claim his three-night hotel stay plus a $100 Visa debit card. 

Braswell heard about the blood drive on KOKY 102.1 radio.  But his dedication to giving goes far beyond wanting to win a prize.  Braswell’s nine-year–old son has Sickle Cell disease and has needed blood transfusions.
Destination Trip Winner, Chris Braswell
“Chris’ personal experience highlights the very reason we are here for area hospitals,” said Paulette Nieuwenhof, executive director, Arkansas Blood Institute Little Rock.  “And, it’s the reason that Cumulus Media gave such great support to this event.  All our donors give the gift of hope and life for patients in the 23 hospitals across the state we exclusively serve.

Now through Jan. 8, blood donors with Arkansas Blood Institute will get two entries in a Caribbean cruise giveaway contest.  The seven-night trip for two will be awarded to one donor who gives before Jan. 31, courtesy of fundraisingcruises.org. 

A gift card to help with ground travel expenses to the port of Galveston will also be provided to the contest winner.  All donors get nautical-themed T-shirts to brighten up their winter days. 

The cruise is being offered during the holidays to inspire everyone 16 years or older* to make blood donation a priority.  Holiday activities typically detract people from giving.

Arkansas Blood Institute’s Little Rock donor center is located at 101 S. Shackleford Rd., Suite 2, on the southeast corner of Shackleford and Markham.  Donor center hours are Monday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Arkansas Blood Institute is a nonprofit regional blood center committed to saving lives of Arkansans.  Of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., only 10 percent actually do, despite it taking only about one hour and having a tremendous impact. One single donation can save as many as three lives. Donations can be made every 56 days.

Schedule your life-saving donation at a donor center or mobile drive near you.

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

FEEL GOOD. GIVE BLOOD.

Blood Donors’ Chances to Win Cruise Doubled

December 12, 2015 ─  Blood donors who give December 12 through January 8, with Arkansas Blood Institute will get double the entries in a Caribbean cruise giveaway contest.  The seven-night trip for two will be awarded to one donor who gives before Jan. 31, courtesy of fundraisingcruises.org. 

A gift card to help with ground travel expenses to the port of Galveston will also be provided to the contest winner.  All donors get nautical-themed T-shirts to brighten up their winter days. 

Double entries are being offered through the holidays to inspire everyone 16 years or older* to make blood donation a priority.  Holiday activities typically detract people from giving.  Even so, patients in 23 local hospitals that Arkansas Blood Institute serves rely on them for their very lives. 

People with negative blood types are especially urged to give. Only 18 percent of the population has negative blood types, but those with these types must have negative type blood when needed.

“While many of us dream of escaping on a warm-weather cruise, those needing blood are just grateful for improved health that blood donors give to them,” said John Armitage, President and CEO. 

Donations can be made every 56 days. Appointments are not required but can be made at a donor center or mobile blood drive near you.

*16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

Arkansas Blood Institute Names New Executive Director

October 12, 2015 – Arkansas Blood Institute, the state’s nonprofit, volunteer blood center, announces the hiring of Paulette Nieuwenhof as its Executive Director in Little Rock.

Nieuwenhof will be responsible for overseeing daily operations of the donor center, developing and implementing strategic growth plans, community outreach programs, and the further development of partnerships with hospitals and community groups.
Paulette Nieuwenhof, Director of Little Rock Donor Center
In her previous executive role as the Director of Business Development for The Poultry Federation in Little Rock, Nieuwenhof was responsible for directing the association’s industry relations, membership program, sponsorship program and overall communications. 

Nieuwenhof’s healthcare experience includes administrative positions with Johnson Regional Hospital in Clarksville and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Russellville.  She is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

“I am honored to be joining Arkansas Blood Institute,” Nieuwenhof said, “I am looking forward to advancing our mission to be the donor-to-patient lifeline, providing our communities’ and medical partners’ security by meeting transfusion and health care needs.” 

Arkansas Blood Institute is currently accepting volunteer blood donors at its new Little Rock donor center.  What began five years ago with exclusive agreements to provide every drop of blood needed for patients of major hospitals across western Arkansas has spread as far east as Pine Bluff and to Little Rock hospitals this past year.  Now, 22 Arkansas hospitals, including CHI St. Vincent hospitals and Arkansas Heart Hospital, rely exclusively on Arkansas Blood Institute deliveries daily.

Its new Little Rock donor center is located at the southeast corner of Markham and Shackleford. Anyone 16 or older who is generally in good health has the opportunity to save a local life by donating blood. The donor center is open at 101 S. Shackleford Rd., Suite 2, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Click here, to schedule an appointment at our Little Rock donor center or to view a list of area blood drives.

Key Stats for Local Blood Donors:
  • Every two seconds someone needs blood.
  • One in seven patients admitted to hospitals needs blood.
  • Less than 10 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood do so at least once a year.
  • An average of 1,000 donors per day is needed to meet the needs of patients in the region.
  • Although all blood types are needed, O-negative blood can be used in emergencies when a patient’s blood type is not yet identified.  Only nine percent of the population has O-negative blood, so people with this type are needed to give as often as possible.
  • Each donor can save as many as three peoples’ lives.

 

Hutchinson Proclaims September “Give Blood Arkansas Month”

September 16, 2015 – Arkansas Blood Institute, the state’s nonprofit, volunteer blood center, announces a proclamation by Governor Asa Hutchinson naming September “Give Blood Arkansas Month” and will be highlighted by a member of Arkansas’ first family donating blood this Friday in West Little Rock.

To further celebrate the Proclamation, Governor Hutchinson’s daughter Sarah Wengel will be donating blood this Friday at 10 a.m. at Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor center, 101 S. Shackleford Rd.

“Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.” says Wengel.  “I am proud to give blood at Arkansas Blood Institute knowing that my donation will save the lives of other Arkansans.”
Sarah, blood donor
Arkansas Blood Institute recently opened its doors to a new donor center in West Little Rock and have been instrumental in raising awareness of the need for blood donations in the state. Eighteen hospitals in Arkansas rely exclusively on donors with Arkansas Blood Institute for every drop of blood needed by their patients.  Governor Hutchison’s proclamation signifies the importance of Arkansan blood donors giving for those battling life-threatening conditions in Arkansas hospitals.

“The need for blood is 24/7 in area hospitals, yet most people don’t think about it until it impacts a loved one or friend. For instance, patients at CHI St. Vincent hospitals require an average of more than 1,500 units each month,” Vince Maniace, Arkansas Blood Institute account consultant.  “That means, 375 donors each week are needed for this one hospital system alone that we serve.”   

One in every seven people entering a hospital will need blood.  However, of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., only about ten percent actually do. Giving blood takes about an hour, and each donation can save as many as three different lives. Donations can be made every 56 days.

Although all blood types are needed, those with negative type blood are especially urged to donate now. Only 18 percent of the population has negative blood types.  Yet, patients with negative blood types can only receive blood from those 18 percent who have negative types. 

The Arkansas Blood Institute’s new Little Rock donor center is located at the southeast corner of Markham and Shackleford. Anyone 16* or older who is generally in good health has the opportunity to save a local life by donating blood. The donor center is open Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Schedule your life-saving donation at the new Little Rock donor center or a mobile drive.

New Arkansas Blood Institute Staff Lead Little Rock-Area Efforts

September 2, 2015 – Arkansas Blood Institute, the state’s nonprofit, volunteer blood center, announces the following appointments to its leadership team for central Arkansas:

Carol Rengstorf has been named donor services director for Arkansas Blood Institute’s Little Rock donor center and service area. Rengstorf provides leadership and operational supervision of the donor center and area blood drives.  CarolShe also manages the complex logistics to get the right blood to the right patient at the right time in the 18 hospitals Arkansas Blood Institute serves in the state. She oversees regulatory compliance and is vitally involved in developing strategies to improve service to area hospitals.  Rengstorf has served in similar roles in Hot Springs for the past 11 years. 

“Donating blood is something nearly everyone supports so that there’s not a concern for patients in our hospitals,” Rengstorf said, “but with this donor center and more blood drives in the area, Arkansans can literally save the lives of their fellow Arkansans.  When you think that your donation may be the difference in life and death for a friend’s premature baby, a neighbor that’s been burned in a fire or a loved one having heart surgery, that’s really an amazing opportunity.” 

ManiaceVince Maniace has joined Arkansas Blood Institute as account consultants for the greater Little Rock area. He works directly with schools, civic groups, businesses and faith-based groups to schedule and conduct blood drives. He also arranges mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, media and civic organizations interested in creating a culture of giving in the area. 

“Our only mission is to reliably provide local hospitals with the right blood needed for each patient at the right time,” said Maniace. “It’s all we do – our total focus.  We have all lived and worked here, so it’s exciting to see this develop in our great city.  With our commitment to this area – not to hospitals across the nation – patients in the hospitals we serve here are less vulnerable to decisions to use blood donated here for hospitals elsewhere.”

After six years of exclusively providing every drop of blood needed for patients of major hospitals across western Arkansas and as far east as Pine Bluff, several Little Rock–area hospitals have recently selected to partner with Arkansas Blood Institute.

Its new Little Rock donor center is located at the southeast corner of Markham and Shackleford. Anyone 16* or older who is generally in good health has the opportunity to save a local life by donating blood. The donor center is open at 101 S. Shackleford St., Suite 2, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Schedule your life-saving donation at the new Little Rock donor center or a mobile drive.

Arkansas Blood Institute Donor Center Opens Sept. 2; Expands Service to Little Rock Hospitals

September 2, 2015 - Arkansas Blood Institute, the state’s nonprofit blood center, will begin accepting volunteer blood donors at its new Little Rock donor center Wednesday, Sept. 2.  What began five years ago with exclusive agreements to provide every drop of blood needed for patients of major hospitals across western Arkansas has spread as far east as Pine Bluff and to Little Rock hospitals this past year.  Now, 18 Arkansas hospitals, including CHI St. Vincent Healthcare, rely solely on Arkansas Blood Institute blood deliveries daily.

In service to local hospitals, Arkansas Blood Institute identified the need to give Little Rock-area blood donors a convenient location to save the lives of their fellow Arkansans.  The new donor center located at the southeast corner of Markham and Shackleford offers that near one of Arkansas’ most highly accessible intersections.

Anyone 16* or older who is generally in good health is typically able to donate blood. Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor center will be open at 101 S. Shackleford St., Suite 2, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

“Our blood is one of Arkansas’ most precious natural resources. It can’t be grown, made or drilled from the earth. It must be shared by one human being to another,” John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO, said. “It’s the ultimate gift and it’s vital that we practice good stewardship of this resource. With this donor center and more Arkansas Blood Institute blood drives in the area, our hope is that more people will find a way to share their blood and save the lives of their fellow Arkansans.  When you donate through Arkansas Blood Institute, you’re making the difference between life and death for a friend’s premature baby, a neighbor who’s a burn victim or a loved one having heart surgery.” 

Armitage cited several key statistics that highlight the 24/7 need for local blood donors:

  • Every two seconds someone needs blood.
  • One in seven patients admitted to hospitals needs blood.
  • Less than 10 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood do so at least once a year.
  • An average of 1,000 donors per day is needed to meet the needs of patients in the region.
  • Although all blood types are needed, O-negative blood can be used in emergencies when a patient’s blood type is not yet identified.  Only nine percent of the population has O-negative blood, so people with this type are needed to give as often as possible.
  • Each donor can save as many as three peoples’ lives.  Once separated and processed into red blood cells, platelets and plasma, these blood components may be used by different individuals.

“Our only mission is to provide local hospitals with timely access to the right blood needed for each patient at the right time,” said Armitage, “It’s all we do – our total focus.  Our staff have lived and worked here. They have relied on local hospitals for life-saving care when they need it and now, with this development in central Arkansas, we are better able to support them in doing so. We manage the blood supply on a regional level, giving us the ability to prioritize the needs of local patients in the hospitals we serve.  In the past, they have had to compete with hospitals at the national level for blood products, some of which have a very limited time for use.
Arkansas Blood Institute has a donor center in Fort Smith and has been conducting blood drives across the state.  Businesses, civic organizations, schools and places of worship are encouraged to contact Arkansas Blood Institute about hosting such events to meet the area’s ongoing need for blood. 

Arkansas Blood Institute’s Little Rock center will be home to an Immunohematology Reference Laboratory – one of 56 AABB-accredited worldwide.  The reference lab is directed by medical technologists and physicians who are board certified in transfusion medicine.  Although invisible to the general public, this staff will provide more than 3,000 consultations each year with hospitals in need of finding blood for patients who require blood type matching that goes beyond A, B and O.  With a database of 25,000 donors with ‘rare’ units, there are rare blood units available whenever needed.  Pathologists and hospital blood bank staff rely on the quality and competence of this critical medical resource. 

Schedule your life-saving donation at Arkansas Blood Institute’s Little Rock center or find out how you can host a blood drive by calling 501-225-6000.

It Takes More Than Blood Donors!

July 2015 - Arkansas Blood Institute needs more than blood donors to have a reliable and adequate blood supply. You, your family, business, church, or organization can help out in your community
by volunteering for your local non-profit blood bank, Arkansas Blood Institute.

To start volunteering, click here or call Michelle at (479) 452-5880. Ext. 121

We currently have volunteer needs for the following:

Courier – Volunteer to help us deliver our life-saving products using our vehicles. Acceptable driving record and valid driver’s license is required. Great for College students over 21 years of age and great for retired folks wanting a way to give back to the community.

Receptionist – Learn valuable office skills by volunteering during the week or on a Saturday greeting our wonderful blood donors and answering the phone.

Appointment Setter – Do you have the gift of gab? Help make a difference by volunteering to call established blood donors from our office.  Hours can vary.

The need for blood is constant….the small amount of
time you give can make a difference.

Bob Grant