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Commissioner Deer and Stroger Hospital launch blood drive

Stroger Hospital

“We must defeat narrative that Black and brown individuals don’t donate blood”

On Tuesday, December 5, Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer (2nd District), joined by Stroger Hospital executives and physicians, launched a new Cook County Blood Drive.

Donnica Austin-Cathey, Stroger Hospital Physicians, Vitalant Blood Organization executive Tammy Winchester, community activists and civic leaders were on hand to support the initiative.

Commissioner Deer, who also serves as the County Board’s Chairman of the Cook County Health Board of Directors, is spearheading this effort while advocating for more African American and Hispanic donors.

Deer said, “The obvious low numbers in Black and brown donors are of great concern throughout the industry of medicine. In the United States, blood donation rates of African Americans are 25-50 percent of that of white individuals. Significant improvements in African American donor recruitments are needed to adequately meet the demand of African American patients, as well as the entire population.”

Stroger Hospital has joined with Deer, calling upon the community to rally behind this critical blood drive.

The hospital has partnered with the Vitalant Organization to ensure a robust community response to the ongoing need for blood donations, particularly as the busy holiday period approaches.

Those interested in securing a slot for donations are encouraged to schedule an appointment by contacting Vitalant at 877.258.4825 or by visiting and utilizing the group code ORD0Q428. Appointments are recommended; walk-ins are welcomed.

Preparation is key for donors to maximize the effectiveness of their contribution. It is advised that potential donors eat well, maintain hydration, and carry a valid form of identification when arriving for their donation session.

The simple impactful act of donating blood can make an immense difference in someone’s life, serving as a lifeline during emergencies and surgeries, and for individuals battling various medical conditions.

Stroger Hospital is offering an incentive for those who give their time and blood. Donors will receive thanks in the form of a $10 Gift Card or the option to select a gift card from other reputable retailers through the donor rewards store. To qualify for this incentive, donors must have an account and be opted into the recognition program, earning redeemable points toward the selected gift card.

Commissioner Deer hopes this will provide some level of support to those in need and will help generate more people to attend this important event.

“The life of the body is in the blood. Blood donations not only improve lives but save lives. I am the recipient of a double lung transplant, and it is certainly God’s grace and the blood donated that gave me a second chance. I encourage everyone to please donate,” added Deer.

Detailed information is available at or by calling 877-258-4825 for those considering participation or with eligibility queries.

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