Newburgh, NY: At just eight years old Valerie Abbott was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. At such a young age, what she remembers most is being frightened. There were many serious bumps in the road over the course of treatment, which lasted until she was 16, and she needed many blood and platelet transfusions.
Valerie, who is a lifelong resident of Cornwall/New Windsor, is now Blood Bank/Transfusion Services Supervisor at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH). She helps coordinate community blood drives at St. Luke’s with Community Blood Services. As was the case when she was ill, there continues to be blood shortages today across the country and hospitals are in need of donors.
SLCH has been receiving its blood supply from Bergen Community Blood Services for several years. The hospital is now teaming up with Community Blood Services in an effort to boost the blood supply by collecting from local volunteer blood donors. Ongoing blood drives will be held the second and fourth Mondays of every month from 4 to 7 p.m. on SLCH’s Cornwall campus. Upcoming dates include April 25.
“We are so grateful to be partnering with St. Luke’s to collect lifesaving blood for the patients in the community we both serve,” said Patrice Foresman, recruitment director at Community Blood Services. “We really hope community members step up because less than 3% of the population eligible to donate blood in the New York area does so even though 80% of the population will need it at some point in their lives.”
Donors can call 845-220-2030 or visit www.communitybloodservices.com to schedule an appointment to donate at an upcoming St. Luke’s blood drive.
“Our community has always had a strong donor population. I was told that in response to Sloan Kettering requesting that the blood I used be replaced, members of the New Windsor/Cornwall community, in conjunction with the Storm King Firehouse, flooded to donate blood, so much so that Sloan had to tell people to stop donating; they had reached a surplus. It is my hope that this community will follow suit by donating blood to help save lives.
Foresman said Community Blood Services currently needs all blood types; especially O negative, O positive and B negative, in order to meet the needs of patients at hospitals like St. Luke’s.
For more information about the blood drives at St. Luke’s, please contact Casey Todd at 201-213-3531 or email him at email@example.com. Visit stluke’scornwallhospital.org for a full list of upcoming dates.
Whole blood donors must be 17-75 years old (16 with parental permission), in general good health and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also receive complimentary non-fasting glucose and cholesterol health screening sat the time of their donations.
St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH) is a not-for-profit community hospital with campuses in Newburgh and Cornwall, NY. The hospital is dedicated to serving the health care needs of the Hudson Valley and aspires to excellence in the delivery of quality, compassionate health care services. SLCH offers comprehensive cardiac, stroke, cancer and orthopedic services and a full range of other clinical offerings.
Community Blood Services provides blood and blood products for patients in 25 hospitals in New York and New Jersey, including St. Luke’s Cornwall and Newburgh hospitals.