Blood Drive Encourages Donations, Healthy Lifestyles

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*Come give blood to help save lives andgethealth information to impact your own life! *

NASHVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Titans and their official healthcare provider, Saint Thomas Health, and the American Red Cross partnered together for the first-ever "Give and Get" blood drive and health fair in the East Club at Nissan Stadium.

"We are thrilled to host this inaugural event at Nissan Stadium with our partner, Saint Thomas Health and the American Red Cross to help emphasize the need for blood donations and to provide information to help us all lead a healthier lifestyle," said Lynne McCracken, client services coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. "We recognize the tremendous need in our community and this is a great opportunity to help improve lives."

Titans cornerback Jason McCourty served as the ambassador for the event.  Jason and his twin brother, Devin, have executed a successful "Tackle Sickle Cell" campaign and he shared information about sickle cell disease and the importance for blood donations for patients with the disease.   

Titans broadcast coordinator, Amie Wells and Titans director of marketing, Brad McClanahan were first-time donors who overcame their fears of blood donation all because of the wonderful staff from the American Red Cross. 

"It was so much easier and less time-consuming than I thought," said McClanahan. "I'd recommend to anyone who is on the sitting on the fence to just jump in and do it!"

"If I can do it, you can do it!" Wells added.

The Titans, Saint Thomas Health and the American Red Cross partner for “Give and Get” blood drive and health fair. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)

Titans cheerleaders, Kiara, Jessi, Hannah and Kaitlin joined T-Rac to show support and enjoy photo opportunities with those on hand.

Throughout the day, Saint Thomas Health provided blood glucose screenings, blood pressure checks, cancer care, injury assessments, cooking demonstrations and nutrition tips.

"Saint Thomas Health values collaboration in saving lives and improving our community's health," said Dawn Rudolph, chief experience officer at Saint Thomas Health. "We hope that donors will enjoy the health fair activities and spend some time taking care of themselves as they serve others."

"The Red Cross appreciates the Titans support of our mission to help save lives," said Matt Carver, director of collections for the Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. "We rely on the generosity of volunteers and this is a great opportunity for donors to support our community and home team."

The "Give and Get" Blood Drive comes at an important time for the Red Cross, which is facing a looming shortage of the blood types most needed by patients and is calling on eligible donors with O negative, B negative and A negative blood to give now to prevent an emergency situation. The Red Cross also needs platelet donors and those with type AB blood to help ensure the shelves are stocked for patients in need.

Everyone who came to give blood received a football stress ball, and all donors who pre-scheduled an appointment received a commemorative t-shirt.

Donors will also be able to enter the national bone marrow registry through the partnership of Delete Blood Cancer DKMS. Delete Blood Cancer DKMS started with one family's search for a bone marrow donor and is today part of the world's largest bone marrow donor center. The organization has helped register more than 5 million potential donors and facilitated close to 48,000 transplants around the world. Delete Blood Cancer DKMS will provide the opportunity for people to register as potential donors at the event by completing a registration form and a cheek swab.

About Saint Thomas Health

Saint Thomas Health is Middle Tennessee's faith-based, not-for-profit health care system united as one healing community. Saint Thomas Health is focused on transforming the health care experience and helping people live healthier lives, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable. The regional health system includes nine hospitals: Saint Thomas Hospital for Spinal Surgery, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, Saint Thomas Hickman Hospital in Centerville, Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital in Smithville, Saint Thomas Highlands Hospital in Sparta, Saint Thomas River Park Hospital in McMinnville and Saint Thomas Stones River Hospital in Woodbury. A comprehensive network of affiliated joint ventures, medical practices, clinics and rehabilitation facilities complement the hospital services and cover a 68-county area. Saint Thomas Health is a member of Ascension, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States. For more information, visit www.STHealth.com.

About the American Red Cross The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross

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