Allina Health and Red Cross encourage blood donations; highlight specific need for those with sickle cell disease

For more information, contact: Jennifer Steingas, (612) 388-1895

MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 8, 2021) — The American Red Cross is experiencing its worst blood shortage for this time of year in more than a decade. The pandemic changed typical giving patterns and while there was hope donations would pick up in the fall – that simply hasn’t happened. The holiday season and winter weather often lead to fewer drives and donations so the need for donors now is crucial. 

Allina Health is partnering with the Red Cross to host employee blood drives to help with this need, and they encourage members of the public to also find drives to kick off the giving season with a life-saving blood donation. 

“She will live a longer, healthier life because you gave blood.”

James Burroughs II serves on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross Twin Cities-Area Chapter. His 9-year-old daughter Theresa has sickle cell disease. Like many others with the disease, she has required a blood transfusion for care. Burroughs says without the gift of blood many children like his daughter are in jeopardy of serious health complications that could limit their life potential. The disease most greatly impacts African Americans, leading to a push for African American blood donors.  

Burroughs is the vice president, chief equity and inclusion officer at Children’s Minnesota. He is committed to bridging the gap between people of color and healthcare through trust. He hopes to reach potential donors who feel connected to the cause and therefore become regular donors. 

To those who give or will choose to give, Burroughs said, “thank you from the bottom of my heart because it’s going to be able to save a life and could save my daughter’s life.” 

You can search RedCrossBlood.org by zip code for donation sites nearest you or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule your appointment. To reduce your wait time, you can make an appointment and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/RapidPass

About Allina Health

Allina Health is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of illness and enhancing the greater health of individuals, families and communities throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. A not-for-profit health care system, Allina Health cares for patients from beginning to end-of-life through its 90+ clinics, 11 hospitals, 15 retail pharmacies, specialty care centers and specialty medical services, home care, and emergency medical transportation services.