Oklahoma Blood Institute and Tulsa-based Saint Francis Health System have teamed up to pioneer a first-of-its-kind program that enables blood recipients to thank their individual blood donors. This will improve blood supplies by allowing donors to know the personal impacts they make on the lives of others. It will also have pro-social benefits across the community by empowering connectedness and an Attitude of GratitudeTM.
This program will allow patients to send a note, photo or video to their actual blood donor using their smart phones, tablets or computers to visit the ThankTheDonor.org website. Step-by-step instructions make the process easy to follow and a patent-pending process maintains anonymity for both the blood donors and recipients, thus preserving important privacy protections. As permitted by the sender, a donor’s thank you can be shared with wider audiences, such as Saint Francis Health System staff or Oklahoma Blood Institute social media followers.
Saint Francis is the first hospital in Oklahoma to give patients who receive blood this unique option to Thank-The-DonorTM. Because of their unwavering commitment to service and their forward-thinking approach to healthcare, Saint Francis is a natural partner for Oklahoma Blood Institute to publicly launch this health and humanitarian innovation.
“Not many patients ever get the chance to meet and thank their blood donors face-to-face,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Thank-The-Donor breaks the communication barriers and offers a new and different way to share a ‘thank you!’ We know this personal connection will inspire our wonderful donors to keep saving lives through their irreplaceable gift of themselves.”
Every two seconds someone needs blood—this is an eye-opening statistic. Holly Benningfield, 19, of Tulsa, is just one of the many lives saved by having access to donated blood products. Holly, a college student, fought and won a battle against leukemia in high school. She needed blood transfusions from 22 donors during her cancer treatments. She takes every opportunity she can to thank Oklahoma Blood Institute donors for saving her life. Stories like Holly’s make the gift of blood donation personal and powerful, and can inspire donors to continue their commitment to giving.
“When I got that blood, my energy just shot through the roof, I was so happy,” Holly said. “Thinking about all those people who have donated, they’re the reason I get to be here. It’s a wonderful experience to know that someone cared, and wanted to help you.”
Oklahoma Blood Institute serves more than 160 hospitals and medical facilities in Oklahoma, including Saint Francis Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis. Oklahoma Blood Institute is the local, non-profit, independent blood center that relies solely on volunteer donors committed to saving the lives of Oklahomans. More information is available at obi.org.