Media Inquiries

Our Community Relations staff is available 24 hours a day to respond to media inquiries.  Contact Heather Browne, Marketing & Media Manager, at 405-419-1330 or heather.browne@obi.org with questions or to schedule an interview.

Arkansas Blood Institute Issues Urgent Call for Donors

February 22, 2018 – Winter weather that battered neighboring Oklahoma this week is critically impacting the supply of life-saving blood. Arkansas Blood Institute is asking donors of all blood types to give blood as soon as they can to help our friends in Oklahoma.*

“The urgency for patients is going to continue for the next several days until our inventory rebounds,” said Dr. John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute.  “We know we can rely on our donors who have the reputation of having a heart for helping neighbors in need.”

Due to the urgency of the situation, Arkansas Blood Institute has extended its hours at its donor centers in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Hot Springs.  The centers will be open until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23 and until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24.  Donors can also give at any mobile drive.  Search for drives in your area by clicking here. 

As a non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute’s volunteer donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 40 hospitals statewide.

Appointments are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or clicking here.

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

Be Strong, Bold, Fearless: Give Blood

February 1, 2018 ─ Arkansas Blood Institute is looking for local heroes who are strong, bold, and fearless to help save the lives of their fellow Arkansans.

February 1st through May 13th, all Arkansas Blood Institute blood donors will receive their choice of t-shirt in “Strong” olive, “Bold” maroon, or “Fearless” teal.  Healthy adults, age sixteen and up, are encouraged to give blood.

“Accidents happen. People are battling cancer. Babies are born prematurely,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “The need for blood is constant, and there is no substitute.  Unfortunately, until we know that someone is fighting for life, we just don’t think about how critical it is.”

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do.  Blood donation takes just about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients.  Whole blood can be donated every 56 days.  Platelet donations can be made as often as every 7 days, up to 24 times a year. 

Donors also receive free health screenings and Donor Rewards points, redeemable at Arkansas Blood Institute’s online store.  If donors opt not to take the t-shirt, Arkansas Blood Institute will make a monetary donation to Global Blood Fund for blood center assistance in developing countries.

As a non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute’s donors provide every drop of blood needed for patients in more than 40 hospitals statewide.

Appointments are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-877, visiting one of our convenient donor centers, or clicking here to find a mobile blood drive.

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

Flu Epidemic Impacting Blood Supply, Healthy Blood Donors Needed Now

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ─  The flu epidemic affecting Arkansas is negatively impacting the blood supply.  Because so many of our regular donors are ill, or taking care of sick family members, they’ve been unable to give blood.  Additionally, the widespread flu is forcing some school closures, and parents are unable to keep their blood donation appointments.  All of this puts even more strain on the blood supply.

Arkansas Blood Institute is urging all healthy adults, ages sixteen and up*, to give blood.  Blood donors who have been diagnosed with flu should wait seven days since their last symptoms to give blood.  Donors may give blood the same day they receive a flu vaccine.

Beginning February 1st, all Arkansas Blood Institute blood donors will receive their choice of a new, trendy t-shirt in one of three featured colors, “Strong” olive, “Bold” maroon, or “Fearless” teal. 

“The flu has hit our state particularly hard, but the need for blood remains constant, and there is no substitute,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “That’s why we are calling on all donors who are able to give blood, or those who have never given before, to stop by one of our donor centers or mobile blood drives.  If you have recovered from the flu, or been unaffected by it, we urge you to use your good health to save lives today.”

Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do.  Blood donation takes only about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. 

As part of the nation’s 9th largest non-profit blood center, Arkansas Blood Institute serves more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities statewide.  Appointments to give blood aren’t required but can be made by calling 877.340.8777 or clicking here to schedule online.

Be sure to like and follow Arkansas Blood Institute on Facebook for more information on the flu and blood donation:

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

 

Paulette Nieuwenhof Inducted As Honorary Commander of Little Rock Air Force Base

January 22, 2018 - Paulette Nieuwenhof, Executive Director of Arkansas Blood Institute, was recently inducted as an honorary commander of the Little Rock Air Force Base.  She has been assigned as the 314th Airlift Wing Honorary Vice Commander and has been partnered with Colonel John M. Schutte.  Nieuwenhof was inducted during a ceremony on January 4, 2018.

The Team Little Rock Honorary Commanders Program is designed to maintain close working partnerships with the base’s civilian neighbors in order to increase public awareness and understanding of the base mission, policies and other programs. To do this, base leadership is partnered with civic leaders from the surrounding community.

Civilian participants are nominated from a cross-section of community businesses and organizations. Nominees are selected because their position or influence in the community can positively impact public support for the base.  Arkansas Blood Institute holds frequent, successful blood drives with the Little Rock Air Force Base, to serve blood needs in the region.

“I’m looking forward to serving as an Honorary Vice Commander of the 314th Airlift Wing. This is an opportunity for me to learn more about the men and women of the Little Rock Air Force Base,” said Nieuwenhof. “It’s an honor to partner with my unit commander, Colonel Schutte, and to create an alliance that will benefit the local community and the state.”

Arkansas Blood Institute, part of the 9th largest non-profit blood center in the United States, serves more than 40 hospitals and medical facilities statewide, including UAMS, CHI St. Vincent, and Baptist Health Medical Center in Central Arkansas.  Blood donor centers are located in Little Rock, Hot Springs, and Fort Smith. In addition, donor centers in Russellville and North Little Rock previously operated by American Red Cross, will open February 19, as Arkansas Blood Institute.

Arkansas Blood Institute Now Serving All of Central Arkansas

Little Rock, AR, January 2, 2018—Arkansas Blood Institute and the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks- Arkansas Region have formed an operational alignment to serve the blood donors and blood drive sponsors of Central Arkansas.  Effective January 1, 2018, the Red Cross discontinued blood collections in Central Arkansas, and transferred its Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Russellville based blood recruitment and collections activities to Arkansas Blood Institute. 

Both Arkansas Blood Institute and the Red Cross believe this collaborative solution will best serve patient needs in Central Arkansas by more efficiently and effectively utilizing blood center and community resources.  Arkansas Blood Institute, with the support of the Red Cross, is committed to continuing reliable blood collections in Central Arkansas. 

“Arkansas Blood Institute is focused on the needs of the patients and donors we serve in the Central Arkansas region,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “This cooperative effort will ensure a robust supply of blood for area hospitals.”

“Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and we urge donors in Central Arkansas to continue giving for patients in need,” said Rich Feliciano, Red Cross vice president of Business, Development and Integration. “As this transition moves forward in the new year, Arkansas Blood Institute has the full support of the Red Cross. Our collective goal is to ensure donors, sponsors and volunteers continue to serve their community.”

In Central Arkansas, donors who currently give the gift of life with the Red Cross are asked to give blood at Arkansas Blood Institute drives beginning January 2, 2018.  The following changes will take effect on that date:

•      Red Cross blood donor centers in Russellville and North Little Rock will operate as Arkansas Blood Institute donor centers, and open to the public in mid-February of 2018.
•      Red Cross blood collection services at the Little Rock location will transfer to the Arkansas Blood Institute donor center at the corner of Markham and Shackleford, which is now open Monday through Saturday to serve donors’ needs.
•      Red Cross requests that all organizations which currently host blood drives transition their life-saving efforts to Arkansas Blood Institute on the same timeline.

The Red Cross will maintain its Greater Ozarks- Arkansas Blood Region collection operations in the north and northeastern part of Arkansas, as well as in southwestern Missouri. The Red Cross continues to collect blood and platelet donations at its donor centers in Mountain Home and Jonesboro.

The changes in blood services will not affect the ongoing commitment of the Red Cross to serve Central Arkansas during times of personal and natural disaster.  Disaster services, services to military members, veterans and their families, and health and safety education programs will continue to be offered through the Red Cross chapter in Central Arkansas as always.

Arkansas Blood Institute, part of the 9th largest non-profit blood center in the United States, has operated blood donation centers in Fort Smith and Hot Springs since 1958.  Its Little Rock donor center opened in October 2015.  As the leading blood provider in Central Arkansas, Arkansas Blood Institute serves Baptist Health Medical Center, CHI St. Vincent, Arkansas Heart Hospital and all other major hospitals in Little Rock.

To donate blood or to set up a blood drive, donors or organizations may contact Arkansas Blood Institute at 1-877-340-8777 or visit arkbi.org.

Unprecedented Flooding, Hurricane Harvey Prompt Immediate Need for Blood Donors

(Updated) August 28, 2017 ─ Catastrophic flooding in Houston and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are prompting Arkansas Blood Institute to issue an immediate call for blood donors of all blood types.  Blood centers in Houston and other affected areas are unable to collect blood, and Arkansas Blood Institute is taking part in the nationwide relief effort to help shore up the life-saving blood supply.

Arkansas Blood Institute has already sent 300 units of blood and 25 units of platelets to areas affected by flooding, and has been asked to provide 400 more units this week.  This can only be done if generous donors step up and become part of the disaster response. A major problem blood centers in Southeast Texas are facing is transporting blood to hospitals.  Arkansas Blood Institute is working with a Dallas-based blood center to help transport the blood to hospitals and patients who need it.

“Blood centers affected by this disaster could be shut down for days or weeks,” said John Armitage, M.D., President and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Arkansas Blood Institute is ready to help our neighbors dealing with this unprecedented flooding in Houston, and we know that we can count on our donors to make the commitment to give blood or platelets.”

Donors can give blood at Arkansas Blood Institute’s donor centers in Fort Smith at 5300 S. U Street; in Little Rock at 101 S. Shackleford Rd.; in Hot Springs at 149 Section Line Road, or at any mobile blood drive.

Arkansas Blood Institute is joining blood centers across the U.S. in the flood relief efforts, as part of AABB’s Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, which ensures safe and adequate blood product inventories are in place at all times in preparation for disasters and assesses the need for collections and/or transportation of blood should a disaster occur.

Arkansas Blood Institute is part of the 9th largest, non-profit blood center in the United States.  It relies solely on volunteer blood donors each day to serve more than 30 hospitals and medical facilities statewide. 

Appointments to give blood aren’t required but can be made by calling 877.340.8777 or booking online.

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

WEATHER ALERT- Tropical Storm Cindy: Arkansas Blood Institute Assists With Blood Need

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 21, 2017 ─ As Tropical Storm Cindy threatens millions of people throughout the Gulf Coast, Arkansas Blood Institute is answering a call for additional life-saving blood from centers that service the areas threatened by this powerful storm.

Arkansas Blood Institute immediately shipped more than 300 total units of blood to blood centers that serve New Orleans, other areas of Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast region in Texas.  The majority of the blood was sent to New Orleans, for critical needs in case of medical emergencies during the storm.

“It is not unusual for the Arkansas Blood Institute to be contacted when there are natural disasters in our country,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Because of the generosity of our own blood donors, we can provide blood to our neighbors when it’s needed.”

Arkansas Blood Institute depends solely on volunteer blood donors to serve more than 30 hospitals across the state, including all major hospitals in Little Rock.

Anyone age 16 and older, and in generally good health, can typically give blood.* To schedule an appointment to give blood, call 1-877-340-8777, or visit arkbi.org. Walk-ins are always welcome.

*16 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds
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34th Annual M*A*S*H Bash is Friday, July 28 in Hot Springs

July 11, 2017 -  Salute summer by giving blood with Arkansas Blood Institute on Friday, July 28, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at the 34th Annual M*A*S*H Bash, which will be held at the Elks Lodge, 132 Abbott Place, in Hot Springs.  Arkansas Blood Institute is now serving more major hospitals in the state, making it the natural choice for local medical facilities.

Those who are healthy and aged 16 or older* are encouraged to donate blood, and will receive collectors’ edition 34th Annual M*A*S*H Bash T-shirts. Donors who stop by Arkansas Blood Institute to celebrate the patriotic spirit of the classic TV show M*A*S*H will also get custom dog tags, a squeezie toy grenade, and other mementos symbolizing the era. 

M*A*S*H Bash donors will enjoy free hamburgers or hot dogs with sides, a free admission to the Little Rock Zoo, health screenings and Donor Rewards Points, redeemable for merchandise and gift certificates at Arkansas Blood Institute’s online store. 

“Historically, summer has been a difficult time for the blood supply at local hospitals, because so many people are busy with vacations and activities,” said Paulette Nieuwenhof, Executive Director of Arkansas Blood Institute.  “M*A*S*H Bash is a fun way to make sure our local hospitals are stocked with life-saving blood for the critical summer months.”

Arkansas Blood Institute’s volunteer donors provide every drop of blood needed by patients in more than 30 Arkansas hospitals, including all major hospitals in Central Arkansas.

Appointments for #MASHBash34 are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or clicking here.

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

**Applies to regular zoo admission only. Special engagements excluded. No other discounts may be used with this offer. No cash value. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Offer expires December 31, 2017.
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June 14 is World Blood Donor Day

June 2, 2017 - World Blood Donor Day is proclaimed on June 14 by the World Health Organization and AABB. World Blood Donor Day is recognized by hundreds of blood centers around the world, including Arkansas Blood Institute, ABI.

“We encourage everyone to acknowledge World Blood Donor Day with the selfless act of blood donation,” said John Armitage, M.D., Arkansas Blood Institute president and CEO.  “We seldom take time to think about the life-saving difference a secure blood supply makes.  Countries around the world and even other states in our nation are not as fortunate as we are to have loyal blood donors.”

Of those eligible to donate blood, less than 10 percent give annually. Yet, people who are healthy and 16 years or older*, can typically donate. Blood can be given every 56 days. Arkansas Blood Institute provides every drop of blood needed by patients in some 40 medical facilities across the state.

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


However, any donor can forgo the T-shirt offered in appreciation for giving.  In turn, Arkansas Blood Institute, ABI will make a monetary donation of similar value to Global Blood Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity organization that procures blood center supplies to developing countries to maintain a safe blood supply. It’s a chance to ‘doubly give’ to those who need the life-saving gift of blood worldwide. Donors may also text “BLOOD” to 52000 to text $10 to Global Blood Fund.

Most recently, Global Blood Fund has donated remodeled bloodmobiles to Sri Lanka and Mexico, and is arranging to send bloodmobiles to four other countries so that donors who have never had access before can give blood.  In late May, blood bags and other center supplies were distributed in the country of Ghana in Africa.

* To give blood, 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.
For Text 2 Give terms and conditions, visit globalbloodfund.org/help/Text-2-Give.

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

Bob Grant