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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, November 22, 2021

Contact: Kara LeBlanc, kleblanc@ribc.org, 401.787.8686

RHODE ISLAND BLOOD CENTER AND THE DR. OZ SHOW RAISE AWARENESS OF NATIONAL BLOOD SHORTAGE WITH #JUSTMYTYPE CHALLENGE

Need for blood donors continues to increase amid COVID-19 pandemic

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) and The Dr. Oz Show launched the #JUSTMYTYPE Challenge with the goal of increasing blood donations by asking donors to invite someone to be their “plus one” as they donate together. There has been a chronic nationwide blood shortage throughout the pandemic, and The Dr. Oz Show is helping RIBC, a division of New York Blood Center Enterprises, get the word out and encourage more people to donate blood.

Before COVID-19, mobile blood drives hosted by high schools, colleges, businesses and other organizations made up about 50% of the region’s incoming blood supply, but the number of blood drives has dropped by half this year due to the pandemic. Hospital needs have returned to pre-pandemic levels while donations continue to lag behind and never reach the ideal level of 5-7 days’ supply on hand. RIBC is in need of all blood types and encourages first time donors to sign up to make an appointment.

“Thank you to The Dr. Oz Show for your support. Donating blood can be an incredible way to unite communities and the #JUSTMYTYPE CHALLENGE is just what we need to inspire donors to get more people to make a life-saving donation,” said Beau Tompkins, Senior Executive Director at Rhode Island Blood Center. “The holiday season is always a difficult time to get donors into our centers as folks leave town and go on vacation, but we need to focus on what this time is about: giving. Make a donation today!”

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About Rhode Island Blood Center - Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) was founded in 1979 as a nonprofit community blood center. For over 40 years, RIBC has been the primary supplier of blood and blood products to patients being cared for in hospitals throughout Rhode Island and in neighboring states. Our mission is to help save lives by ensuring a safe, plentiful, and cost-effective blood supply. RIBC is also part of the National Marrow Donor Program and collects stem cells for transplant at its Providence location. RIBC provides therapeutic treatments for patients in local hospitals. Our state-of-the-art laboratory performs donor testing for over 400,000 donations per year. RIBC is also involved in a variety of local and national research programs to improve all aspects of the blood supply. RIBC is a Division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises). For more information, visit ribc.org. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About The Dr. Oz Show — Currently in its thirteenth season, the ten-time Daytime Emmy® Award-winning syndicated daily series The Dr. Oz Show is hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz, accredited health expert, best-selling author, and world-renowned cardiac surgeon. The Dr. Oz Show is an informative hour that offers audiences the opportunity to learn about a wide range of health and wellness topics. Tackling the balance of mind, body, and spirit, Dr. Oz calls on specialists from a variety of disciplines for expert advice on how viewers can be their best selves.

Dr. Oz served as health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show from 2004 to 2009. Sharing advice with viewers to help them live their best life from the inside out. Dr. Oz has co-authored eight New York Times Best Sellers, including “Food Can Fix It,” “YOU: The Owner's Manual,” as well as the award-winning “Healing from the Heart.” He has a regular column in O, The Oprah Magazine.

Dr. Oz is an Attending Physician at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center and performs dozens of heart operations annually. His research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents.

Cleared in over 95% of the country, The Dr. Oz Show is produced by Zoco Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television. The Dr. Oz Show is executive produced by Amy Chiaro and co-executive produced by Stacy Rader and Laurie Rich.