New Program Allows Patients to Thank Blood Donors

May 9, 2019

FORT SMITH, Ark. – Patients who receive blood transfusions at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith now can show their appreciation to the blood donor.

Mercy and the Arkansas Blood Institute have teamed up to pioneer a first-of-its-kind technology that enables blood recipients to send an anonymous message to their blood donors. Thank-The-DonorTM is a free and simple service.

“This will improve blood supplies by allowing donors to know the personal impacts they make on the lives of others,” said Terry Ridenour, vice president of Center Operation-Eastern Division for the Arkansas Blood Institute.

How Thank-the-Donor TM works:

  • Using a smart phone, tablet or computer, visit
  • Follow the step-by-step instructions.
  • Enter a message of thanks. The donor will receive an email with the message attached.
  • Patient and donor privacy is completely protected in the process.
  • The patient also can send a note of thanks to the hospital.

“Few patients who receive donated blood ever know or have the opportunity to offer their gratitude to their blood donors,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. “Thank-The-DonorTM conveniently facilitates uplifting connectedness between a blood donor and a recipient.”

The message will inspire the blood donor to continue giving, according to Kim Plake, director of laboratory services at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith.

“Blood cannot be recreated or manufactured in a lab,” Plake said. “It only can be donated by people who want to make a difference in the lives of patients they probably will never meet.”

Already, many Mercy Hospital Fort Smith patients have sent thank you messages to their blood donor, including this maternity patient:

“Thank you so much for donating. Without your donation, I would have not gotten the blood I needed to regain my strength from all the blood I lost during the delivery of my daughter.”

Donor recipients can share a personal message or choose from several message templates.

Mercy_Thank_the_Donor_Blackwell_family Max Blackwell, 11, a cancer survivor, talks about how a blood donation helped his recovery during a presentation May 9 at Mercy Medical Building in Fort Smith. With Max are his mother, Dee, and father, Dr. Jeffry Blackwell, a Mercy cardiologist.

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