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For Release:
January 11, 2011

Poonam Alaigh, MD, MSHCPM, FACP

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Health and Senior Services Commissioner, NJ Workplace Blood Donor Coalition and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hold Blood Drive to Promote Blood Donation in 2011


Media Advisory

Editorís Note:New blood drive recruitment tools at include a video by Dr. Poonam Alaigh, Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, and the first online e-calendar listing current blood drives by county in New Jersey.

Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh, the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition, and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) will hold a blood drive and press conference Thursday, January 13 to call on the general public to donate blood and businesses and institutions to hold more workplace blood drives in 2011 to alleviate the stateís blood shortage and save lives.

The press conference will take place at 10:30 a.m. in The Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, One Robert Wood Johnson Place in New Brunswick.

The blood drive will also take place in the Courtyard from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The blood drive is part of National Blood Donor Month. Speakers at the press conference will include DHSS Commissioner Alaigh; RWJUH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joshua Bershad; Dean of the UMDNJ-RWJ Medical School Dr. Peter Amenta; and Kevin Rigby, Vice President and Head of Public Affairs and Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and Chair of the Coalition.

Fewer blood drives during the holiday season increase the need for blood donations in January.Currently, O negative blood is in critically short supply in New Jersey.However, blood donations are needed year round, and all blood types are needed.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††Blood donations have consistently failed to keep pace with need.In 2009, New Jersey used 39,826 more units of blood than it collected and had to borrow from other states.

More than 60 percent of New Jersey adults are eligible to donate blood, yet only 3.6 percent donate on a routine basis.If New Jersey could increase its donor participation to the national average of 5 percent, the state would eliminate its blood shortage.


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