PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
January 23, 2013

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

January is National Blood Donor Month

In recognition of National Blood Donor Month, Health Commissioner Mary E. O'Dowd and Kevin Rigby, Vice President and US Country Head of Public Affairs at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, cosigned a letter as co-chairs of the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition calling on New Jersey employers to conduct more blood drives in 2013.

They emphasized the need to increase the State's blood supply by increasing employer engagement in blood donation throughout the year and encouraging more employees to become first time donors.  Sixty percent of New Jerseyans are eligible to donate blood, yet only 3.6 percent do so on a routine basis.

New Jersey employers can help alleviate the blood supply deficit in four ways:  by 1) hosting a workplace blood drive, 2) promoting community blood drives in their area, 3) joining with other businesses to sponsor a blood drive, or 4) inviting employees to donate at their nearest blood center or hospital donation facility.

For tips on how to conduct a workplace blood drive, visit www.njsave3lives.com.  The website contains contact information for New Jersey's eight blood centers.  Contact the one nearest you for assistance in planning and organizing a blood drive.

To view the Commissioner's letter, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/health/njsave3lives/documents/the_unit_8.pdf

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