ALPHARETTA, Georgia—As the United States is in the midst of a blood supply shortage, Atrium Hospitality is continuing its collaboration with the American Red Cross through an extended national partnership to host blood drives across the United States at Atrium-managed hotels. The company manages a portfolio of 82 hotels in 28 states, representing brands like Hilton, Marriott, IHG, and Wyndham, and operates more than 20,000 guest rooms/suites and 3 million square feet of event space.
According to the American Red Cross website, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, and blood donors can help save more than one life with each donation. U.S. blood supplies are dangerously low. Through Atrium Hospitality’s national partnership with the American Red Cross, the company is providing large and accessible venues for hosting blood drives.
The two organizations completed a brief pilot phase before formally announcing their partnership in early 2021. In a little over a year, Atrium Hospitality hotels hosted 107 blood drives in 20 states with the American Red Cross, collecting 2,779 units of blood. The national partnership exceeded the hosting period goal of 51 blood drives.
In addition, first-time donors are needed to help ensure a robust donor population, as current donors may become ineligible due to health issues and medical history. For American Red Cross’ full year 2021 (July 1, 2020—June 30, 2021), the national partnership with Atrium Hospitality included 18 percent participation from first-time donors, surpassing the Red Cross national average of 11 percent for the same period.
As a part of Atrium Hospitality’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) pillars that span education, embracing those with disabilities, sustainability, and wellness, the company’s associates partner with a range of organizations to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods and cities, including Red Cross.
“Our successful national partnership with the American Red Cross is a natural fit, as Atrium Hospitality provides much-needed host solutions for blood drives with our large, high-quality meeting spaces that are welcoming to all,” said Craig Mason, CEO of Atrium Hospitality. “By leveraging Atrium Hospitality’s outstanding service and accommodations to support the company’s wellness CSR pillar through our national partnership with Red Cross, our teams can continue making a local impact while also helping to fuel the hospitality industry’s recovery.”
Diane Naczi, vice president, biomedical sponsor recruitment, American Red Cross, said, “Atrium Hospitality hosted blood drives and opened their doors to blood donors across the country at a time when many were shutting them. Our life-saving mission must continue daily in order to meet the needs of the patients we serve, and Atrium’s generous support of the Red Cross blood donation program during the past year and in 2022 enables us to fuel that mission.”
When reflecting on blood drive events at the Atrium-managed Embassy Suites by Hilton Greenville Golf Resort & Conference Center in Greenville, South Carolina, general manager Bill Groves emphasized convenience, comfort, and collaboration. “I think Atrium Hospitality has created a simple and effective model for hosting blood drives that helps people feel very comfortable with coming in to donate blood, even during this pandemic. Our award-winning environment and service extend to our blood drive experiences. Our Greenville blood drive event in January 2022 outperformed even our highly successful blood drives in 2021 at the same location. We’ve achieved significant repeat donors, as we make giving blood simple and convenient, and Red Cross does a great job working with us to get the word out to the community. We’re already planning to host more blood drives in 2022 to build on last year’s momentum.”
Larry Cooper, regional director, operations, Atrium Hospitality, oversees eight hotels in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, including the Embassy Suites by Hilton Northwest Arkansas—Hotel, Spa & Convention Center in Rogers, Arkansas. He shared that the Rogers location, which includes the Rogers Convention Center, had the opportunity to assume the primary blood drive hosting opportunity in the city during this pandemic. An especially large venue was needed to accommodate physical distancing at blood drives. “Our Atrium-managed property in Rogers includes the largest event center in Northwest Arkansas and is a well-known and convenient location,” Cooper said. “As we enthusiastically continue to participate in this lifesaving opportunity, we plan to raise our commitment to about two blood drives a month this year at the Rogers hosting site.”