Key Community Leaders Meet To Increase Blood Donor Participation in Connecticut’s Diverse Communities

February 3, 2010
Reception highlights crucial role of diverse communities in blood program
WHAT: The American Red Cross is holding a special reception with key community leaders to increase blood donor participation in Connecticut’s diverse communities including the African-American and Hispanic communities and to highlight their crucial role in the blood program. A program of speakers and music is designed to raise awareness on how to give back to the community and help save a life through blood donation. Key blood types in ethnic communities will be discussed. Blood recipients will tell stories of their need for blood and the importance of the availability of blood when it is needed. Participants will be invited to sponsor blood drives in their communities.
In Connecticut, approximately 4% of the total blood donor population is Hispanic and approximately 2.2% is African American. In order to help ensure the availability of key blood types that are often represented in higher numbers in ethnic communities, a diverse blood donor population is crucial. When the blood donor population does not mirror the blood recipient population in terms of blood types, blood shortages can occur. Type O, a key blood type, is found in approximately 56% of the Hispanic population and in over 50% of the African American population. Caucasians make up approximately 45% of the Type O population. A diverse blood donor population can also help increase the number of rare blood donors whose specific match may be needed to help save a life. The Hispanic and African American donor base continue to make contributions to the number of rare donors collected in the State of Connecticut benefitting hospitals and patients with very specific blood match requirements.
WHO: Emma Asante, Emcee, Community Projects Manager, NBC Connecticut
American Red Cross – Connecticut Blood Services Region
Paul Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer
Rosemary Wall, Chairperson, Board of Directors
David Krugman, M.D. Board of Directors & M.D. Emeritus, The Hospital of Central Connecticut
Kathy Kaherl, Manager, Immunohematology Reference Lab
Debbie Edwards, Sickle Cell Disease Association
Margarita “Daisy” Soto, blood recipient
“Nzinga’s Daughters,” African-American women’s musical ensemble
Daniel Salazar, Jr., Spanish classical guitarist & Type O blood donor
WHEN: Tuesday October 20th
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
WHERE: American Red Cross – Connecticut Blood Services, 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington