“Super” Blood Drive Campaign Will Send Some To Football’s “Big Game”

NEW BRUNSWICK — New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd joined with the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee and the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition to call on New Jersey residents to donate blood to save lives and help patients who need transfusions for illnesses, surgeries and traumatic injuries.

“The New Jersey Department of Health and the Workplace Blood Donor Coalition are proud to partner with two powerhouses – Johnson & Johnson and the 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee – to raise awareness of the critical need for blood donation in our state and motivate more New Jerseyans to donate blood,” said O’Dowd, who co-chairs the coalition.

Every person who donates blood in New Jersey between May 24 and Jan. 17, 2014, will receive a red Super Community Blood Drive wristband and the opportunity to win tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII. The Super Community Blood Drive also encompasses the five boroughs of New York City as well as Westchester, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

The announcement, held during an employee blood drive at Johnson & Johnson’s World Headquarters in New Brunswick, also highlighted the strength of Johnson & Johnson’s national Blood Drive Program.

Today’s event, in collaboration with the Super Bowl Host Committee’s Super Community Blood Drive, is part of an eight-month campaign to increase the region’s blood supply. Through this unique partnership, thousands of blood drives are expected to occur in New York and New Jersey in the run-up to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. In New Jersey, the campaign is conducted in association with the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition.

Johnson & Johnson, a dedicated corporate sponsor of volunteer blood drives for many decades, hosts blood drives across its companies throughout the year, with special attention to the summer months when the need typically increases. Their National Blood Drive Program exemplifies how J&J employees live the commitment to community embodied in their Credo, and brings to life the Company’s aspiration to care for the world, one patient at a time.

“The summer months are a time of critical need, and the Johnson & Johnson Companies across the nation respond by scheduling drives in partnership with their local blood centers, and this year is no exception,” said Peter Fasolo, Worldwide Vice President, Human Resources, Johnson & Johnson. “The need is constant and such contributions are important to ensure there is a healthy and reliable blood supply to draw upon in times of need.”

New Jersey’s blood supply depends on hundreds of thousands of volunteer donors and every blood donation helps to ensure that blood is available when it is needed. One in seven patients entering a hospital will need blood, according to America’s Blood Centers.

“Under the leadership of Governor Christie, the Department of Health has been working to increase blood donations in New Jersey. Through our 2012 summer blood drive campaign, we were able to increase units of blood collected by 11 percent over the previous year. With supporters like Johnson & Johnson and the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, this year we will build upon this progress – having the potential to dramatically increase the number of new donors in the state, which will have a lasting impact on our blood supply,” added Commissioner O’Dowd.

Hospitals need blood every day, yet often, particularly during the summer, they have less than a two-day supply on hand. The Coalition, co-founded by the Department of Health and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in 2008 to address the state’s persistent blood shortage, is a public-private partnership of businesses, trade and industry associations, non-profit organizations, education institutions and government.

“Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is proud to join with colleagues and fellow Coalition members to encourage all businesses, community organizations, government entities, and schools to make a commitment to supporting blood donation during the Super Community Blood Drive,” said Kevin Rigby, co-chair of the Coalition and Vice President of Public Affairs for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation and US Country Head of Public Affairs. “I especially call on all employers to make it easy for employees to give blood by hosting their own blood drives, partnering with other organizations to host blood drives, or encouraging employees to give blood outside of the workplace.”

“Today’s event highlights the power of collaboration around a critically important public need,” said Alfred F. Kelly Jr., President and CEO of the 2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee. “The Super Community Blood Drive is part of our effort to make sure the Super Bowl leaves a lasting legacy for our region.”

The Johnson & Johnson blood drive is part of the Super Community Blood Drive’s “Summer Rush,” an intense two-week campaign from July 29 – August 11 featuring blood drives across the state. The goal is to increase summer blood donations by promoting summer drives, raising awareness of the need for blood and encouraging people to sign-up in advance to donate at a local blood drive, their workplace or the nearest blood center or hospital blood collection center.

For more information about the Super Community Blood Drive, the Summer Rush, and how to register to donate, go to www.njsave3lives.com.

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