Almost two years after the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in the United States, the country is still dealing with the devastating impacts of the pandemic on the national blood supply. Shortages this past winter reached a critical point and put many hospitals’ ability to provide life-saving treatments for a variety of conditions at risk. R&J is proud to be working in concert with our client, RWJBarnabas Health to help raise awareness of the problem, encourage people to donate and ensure that residents throughout New Jersey can get the treatment they need when they need it.
Blood collection in New Jersey is down more than 25 percent since summer 2021, compounding the effect that the COVID-19 lockdowns had on reduced donations in 2020. The state’s hospitals rely on the support of individuals to provide much of the life-saving blood donations given to patients in a wide range of circumstances including cancer care, trauma events such as car accidents and home accidents, childbirth, and mass casualty events. With fewer blood drives being organized at workplaces, schools, houses of worship and community organizations due to the ongoing pandemic, RWJBarnabas Health engaged the R&J healthcare team to ask New Jersey residents to step up and donate blood this winter.
The R&J healthcare team conducted a comprehensive media outreach campaign to highlight the need for blood donations this winter. In addition to distributing press releases about the shortage with information on blood drives across the RWJBH system. R&J sought to “humanize” the issue by crafting and sharing the story of one RWJBarnabas Health cancer patient who requires frequent blood transfusions but has had a hard time getting the supply of the rare A negative blood she needs due to the pandemic. Leveraging our extensive media relationships across the New Jersey media market, the R&J team secured media interviews and placements with a number of local and regional media outlets to raise awareness of the need for blood donations including New Jersey 101.5, NJ Spotlight News and ROI-NJ resulting in an increase in donation requests to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Blood Services.
Blood supply in New Jersey is still at dangerously low levels. If you are interested in donating blood please visit https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org/ or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221 to find a blood drive or make an appointment.