The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been selected to receive the American Association of Blood Bank’s 1996 Award of Merit for their continued support in holding blood drives.
“The support from the church and in this area is tremendous,” said Daron Cowley, a public relations representative at Intermountain Health Care.
During 1995 the church was involved in 514, or 57 percent, of the 901 blood drives sponsored by IHC. The result of their combined effort brought more than 40,000 people in to donate blood.
Marty Adams, administrative director of IHC, said that it is remarkable on both a local and national scale to have a particular church be the biggest, single contributor to the blood supply of a region, and that they commend and applaud the significant commitment that these numbers reflect.
Cowley said that the LDS Church has been involved in the blood drives ever since the church-owned hospitals became a nonprofit organization in the community 20 years ago. But this is the first time that they have ever received the award.
“This is not a common award, and it is a significant award for the church to receive,” Cowley said.
The church has been helping IHC by bringing people in to give blood year round.
“This is such a critical thing, and whenever we ask for more blood, especially around the holidays when it is needed the most, people are always willing to come out and donate,” Cowley said.
In the intermountain region alone there are more than 300 blood donations needed every day to meet the needs of the hospitals. There are many other organizations in this area that are helping IHC with their blood banks, including BYU.
“We get a lot of our blood from drives at BYU,” Cowley said.