Conway Regional Medical Center, in partnership with the Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI), will host a blood drive next week.

The blood drive will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 4, and 7 am. to 1 p.m. June 5 in the Conway Regional Auditorium on the medical center's campus at 2302 College Ave.

Marianne Black, the clinical director of laboratory services who also oversees the blood bank, told the Log Cabin Democrat that it has been working with ABI since January 2016 and hosts around four blood drives a year.

Different from partners in the past, Black said that for donors who give with the hospital and ABI, their blood is processed and used in the state — oftentimes locally — which can be an incentive for people to give.

“That’s really great because you can feel like you’re taking care of your neighbor,” she said.

Black said one donation, which uses red blood cells, plasma and platelets, can help up to three people.

She said it’s important to note that donor numbers go down during the summer time, possibly due to families traveling, but summer time is when the blood bank, ABI and others have the greatest need, an acknowledgement that needed to be made.

“The need for donations definitely goes up,” Black

The need for blood is constant to help treat patients for trauma, surgeries, burns, cancer and sickle cell disease, a news release from the hospital, reads.  

Donors can enter a drawing for a $50 Walmart gift card each day of the drive.

Donors will also receive a t-shirt and a complementary ticket to Magic Springs Theme and Water Park.

If possible, donors are asked to make appointments online at www.yourbloodinstitute.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/196678 but walk-ins are welcomed.

For additional information, contact the Arkansas Blood Institute’s blood drive coordinator Britteni Williams at britteni.willams@obi.org.

The ABI is the provider for blood services at Conway Regional and supplies blood to over 40 Arkansas hospitals and is part of the ninth largest non-profit blood center in the country, the release states.