Red Cross Donates Blood Pressure Cuffs

December 16, 2010

The American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region donated 75 blood pressure cuffs to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s Ethnic Health Institute (EHI) on Dec. 16 in an effort to help further the institute’s Hypertension Initiative.

As part of their regular outreach programs, EHI borrowed cuffs from the Red Cross for several scheduled community blood pressure screenings. 

“Because we are replacing our blood pressure cuffs this year it seemed natural to complement our partnership with EHI,” said Jay Winkenbach, CEO, American Red Cross Northern California Blood Services Region.  “We are pleased to know we’re not only helping the Ethnic Health Institute specifically, but we’re also helping our community in general. “We are asking diverse communities to donate blood and need the help of organizations like EHI to provide health education.”

EHI is a community service of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, engaged in coordinating health education, research, health provider training and community outreach and awareness for the entire community, with a special focus on the underserved and minority populations.

EHI has a long-standing Hypertension Initiative focused on the African American and Asian communities, who comprise close to 60 percent of Alta Bates Summit's primary service area.  Hypertension is the leading cause of preventable deaths among African Americans and is a major concern among Asian Americans, Native Americans and Latinos.

In conjunction with the Health Ministry/Parish Nurse Program, and the Health Access/LifeSpan Program, EHI works with East Bay churches to provide blood pressure screenings on a regular basis.  EHI also hosts an annual Hypertension Symposium for health care providers.

About the American Red Cross

The Northern California Blood Services Region of the Red Cross operates five blood donation centers and holds mobile blood drives throughout the Bay Area.  The region supplies blood to more than 30 Bay Area hospitals.

About Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

Alta Bates Summit Medical Center is the East Bay’s largest private, not-for-profit medical center.  With over 1,000 beds, 5,000 employees and 1,000 physicians, this multi-campus regional, tertiary care medical center includes Samuel Merritt University and the Alta Bates Summit Foundation.  Alta Bates Summit is honored as one of the foremost hospitals in the country for clinical excellence, quality outcomes and patient safety.  Nationally recognized services include:  Regional Stroke Center, Regional Rehabilitation Center, and Chemical Dependency, with Centers of Excellence in Women and Infants (including a Level III Newborn ICU), Cardiovascular, Orthopedics, Oncology, and Behavioral Health. 

About Ethnic Health Institute

EHI’s mission is to enhance the health and well-being of all people in the community, focusing on underserved and minority populations who experience disparities  in health care and disease (low-income, African Americans, Asian Pacific Islanders, Latinos, Native Americans, women of all ethnic groups, and children). EHI promotes community health awareness and education, builds organizational alliances, provides training for health professionals, and collaborates on research projects.