Media Inquiries

Our Community Relations staff is available 24 hours a day to respond to media inquiries.  Contact Leslie Gamble, Community Relations Director, at 405-278-3119 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with questions or to schedule an interview.

Oklahoma Blood Institute Names Medical Director

April 3, 2015—Susan M. Weiss, M.D., has joined Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) as medical director. She provides medical oversight of blood donation and transfusion services. This includes advice to the blood collections team and follow-up with donors.  Weiss also consults with laboratory staff and physicians at 158 area hospitals served by OBI to assure patients receive the optimal blood product at the right time. 
Dr. Weiss
Weiss is also engaged in medical consultation for therapeutic services provided by the blood center for patients. Therapeutic apheresis is used to remove harmful components from the blood that contribute to disease based on a patient’s specific condition. OBI provides these services to patients with blood disorders, kidney conditions, metabolic diseases and neurologic disorders.  It is also beneficial to patients with autoimmune diseases. 

She is integrally involved in the emerging areas of stem cell transplantation and related research that Oklahoma Blood Institute is pioneering in the state.

Weiss attended medical school at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and completed residency training at East Carolina University and fellowship training at Stanford University. She is board certified in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology as well as Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine. Weiss was previously medical director of the transfusion service and stem cell laboratory at OU Medical Center and at the Veterans’ Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City. 

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest, non-profit blood center in America.  After processing and testing, OBI transports every drop of blood needed by patients in medical facilities and all air ambulance services across Oklahoma, including all hospitals in metro-Oklahoma City.


Blood Donors Needed to be Everyday Heroes

April 2015 - Oklahoma Blood Institute, (OBI) urges all healthy adults to donate blood at this April. Each donor will receive a ‘HERO” T-shirt. Anyone 16 and older* can typically donate.

“Blood donors are typically very humble about their good deeds,” said John Armitage M.D., CEO and president of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “But to the grateful patients who get a second chance at life thanks to life-saving blood treatments, donors are nothing short of heroes.”

One in every seven people entering a hospital will need blood.  However, of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., only about ten percent actually do. Giving blood takes about an hour, and each donation can save as many as three different lives. Donations can be made every 56 days.

Although all blood types are needed, those with negative type blood are especially urged to donate. Only 18 percent of the population has negative blood types.  Yet, patients with negative blood types can only receive blood from those 18 percent who have negative types. 

Donors can opt to forgo the T-shirts, and instead, support Global Blood Fund (GBF).  OBI will contribute on behalf of these donors to GBF to provide supplies and technology to struggling blood centers. In the countries they serve, lives are lost daily due to an inadequate blood supply.

Schedule you appointment today!

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds


March 24, 2015─ Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) announces the promotion of Marlena Frye to Executive Director of Inventory Management, Logistics, and Operational Systems. Frye has worked at OBI for 13 years and oversees the distribution of some 250,000 units of donated blood annually. She leads the Systems Operations team with training, project management, equipment monitoring, and quality improvement for Technical Operations.
Frye has recently assumed responsibility for optimization of OBI’s transportation logistics network.  This encompasses handling and shipping the priceless gifts of donated blood.  With limited time for use, it must be moved rapidly from blood drives and donor centers to testing and processing labs to hospitals.  OBI’s mission of being the donor-to-patient lifeline requires its drivers travel more than six million miles annually to deliver blood needed for patients in hospitals across Oklahoma and in neighboring states.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Blood Institute is the ninth largest, non-profit blood center in America.  Patients in 158 medical facilities across the state rely on life-saving blood provided through OBI, including all hospitals in the metro-Oklahoma City area.

Schedule your life-saving donation, Today!


The recent winter storms caused many blood drive cancellations, resulting in 2,000 less blood donors than expected. Your commitment to ensuring your blood drive was a success made the difference. Thank you for being a SNOW ANGEL for patients in the 184 medical facilities served by your Blood Institute.

The need for blood never takes a snow day, and we are extremely grateful for your dedication to blood donation.

Below is a list of Snow Angels that sponsored blood drives February 23 – March 6.

38th CEIG
72d ABW
Absentee Shawnee Tribe
Ada High School
AOG Rogers Ave
Bass Pro Shops
Battiest High School
Baxley Equipment/LogPro
Blackwell High School
Booneville High School
Bost Inc.
Bridge Creek High School
Brookdale Sterling House
Buffalo High School
Caddo Kiowa Technology Center
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Cameron High School
Canute Community
Cesar E. Chavez
Charles Machine Works, Inc.
Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital
Choctaw Nation
Christ The King
Church of Christ South Yukon
Church of Saint Benedict
Cimarron Correctional Facility
Cimarron High School
City View ISD
Clay County Memorial Hospital and Community
Coal Hill Community
Coalgate High School
Comanche County Health Department
Comanche County Memorial Hospital
Comanche Nation Complex
Crowell Community
Danville High School
Dardanelle Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
Davis High School
DCP Midstream
Dewar High School
DHS-Child Welfare Division
Durant High School
Eastern Oklahoma County Tech Center
Elgin High School
Elk City Community
Elkview General Hospital
Enid High School
Eufaula High School
Family Care Center of Kingston
First Baptist Church Marlow
Foyil High School
Frederick Hospital and Community
Freedom High School & Community
Frontier High School
Ft. Towson High School
Gateway Success Center
Goodyear Commercial Tire and Service Centers
Grady Memorial Hospital and Community
Grandfield High School
Great Plains Coca-Cola
Great Plains Regional Medical Center
Great Plains Technology Center
Groendyke Transports, Inc.
Harding Fine Arts Academy
HealthSource of Tulsa
Hennessey Community
Hennessey High School
Heritage Village Nursing Home
Hertz Administrative Center
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
Hugo High School
Hulbert Jr.-Sr. High School
Indian Health Services
INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Hospital
INTEGRIS Mayes County Medical Center
J.A. Riggs Tractor Co.
Jefferson Regional Medical Center

Kiefer High School
Kings, Daughters & Sons Nursing Home
Lavaca High School
Liberty Elementary
Lindsay High School
Lost Creek United Methodist Church
Lowe’s Bixby
Lowe’s of Stillwater
Madill High School
Mannford Community Drive
Mansfield Elementary Kids Care
McCraw Oil and Propane
McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church
Mena National Guard
Mercy Fort Smith
Mercy Hospital Ardmore
Midwestern State University Student Nurses Association
Milburn High School
Mountain Pine High School
Murray State College
National Park Community College
National Park Medical Center
New Hope Baptist Church
Newcastle High School
Nichols $ Saver Foods
Noble Energy Inc.
Norman Regional Healthplex
Norman Regional Hospital
Northeast Technology-Pryor
Northeastern Health System
Oakwood Mall
OKDHS Washington & Nowata Counties
Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services
Osage Casino - Tulsa
Otoe Missouria Tribe
OU Health Sciences Center
OU Physicians/Children’s Physicians
Ozark High School
Paris High School
Payne County Sheriff’s Department
Piney Grove United Methodist Church
Platt College
Post Acute Medical Specialty Hospital of Tulsa
Prague Community Hospital
Pushmataha Hospital
Rogers State University-Pryor Campus
Saint Francis Hospital South
Sasakwa High School
Shawnee Mall
Skyview Elementary
SouthWest Cupid
Sparks Medical Plaza
Spiro Community
St. Anthony Hospital
St. John’s University Parish
St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
Sterling High School
TPS Maintenance, Grounds, and Plant Operations
Tri County Technology Center
Tulsa Community College-SE
United Regional
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Oklahoma Society of Petroleum Engineers
University of Tulsa
Vian Community
Waldron High School
Waurika Community
Western Technology Center
Willow View United Methodist Church
Windthorst Community
Woodland Hills Elementary
Wright Career College
Wynnewood Community

Donor wins Caribbean Cruise for two!

March 3, 2015 ─ When Gary Powell, Antlers, donated blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) during the Christmas holidays, he did it to help others in need.  Powell never imagined the good deed would result in him winning a seven-day Caribbean Cruise for two.
But Powell was the lucky winner of the grand prize, selected from more than 7,000 donors who gave during OBI’s two-week holiday promotion. He will be setting sail thanks to Cruises, Inc. in April. The travel agency contributed the incentive for donors, knowing that the holiday weeks are the most difficult to get people to give. A gas card for travel to the port of Galveston has also been presented to Powell.

Powell attended the Dec. 30, Hugo Battle of the Badges blood drive and gave, just as he has done four times previously.  Since each donation can save as many as three lives, Powell has potentially made a life-saving difference for 12 people.

“We’re blessed to be surrounded by giving people like Gary,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Cruises, Inc., is phenomenal to provide such a great vacation to encourage blood donors.  It’s feels terrific to be able to reward Gary’s community spirit with this trip of a lifetime.”

Oklahoma Blood Institute is a nonprofit blood center that provides every drop of blood needed for patients in 158 hospitals across the state.

Although people with all blood types are needed, those with negative blood types are especially urged to give frequently. Only 18 percent of the population has negative blood types, but those with these types must have negative blood when needed.

Donations can be made every 56 days. Schedule your life-saving donation, today!

Blood Donors Sought To Save Lives

March 2015 — Blood donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) can give the priceless gift of life to patients in our area without spending a dime. Anyone who is healthy and 16 years* or older is urged to donate.

One donation can save as many as three lives and typically takes only about an hour. Donors in March will receive free health screenings and Donor Rewards Points, redeemable online for gift cards and merchandise.

March donors will also receive a donor ‘Hero’ T-shirt. Blood donors can choose to forgo the T-shirt, and funds designated for it will be directed to Global Blood Fund (GBF). Every day in the world’s poorest countries, people die because of a shortage of blood. GBF helps these countries to establish voluntary blood donation – the key to a safer and more plentiful blood supply.

Appointments are not required but can be made here.

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.

“Share The Love” this February

February 2015 - Anyone can ‘share the love’ this February by donating blood with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). All healthy adults, 16 and older*, are urged to make donation a top priority. Each donor will receive an appreciation item from the OBI Treasure Chest, free health screenings and Donor Rewards Points, redeemable online for gift certificates and merchandise.

Blood donors can choose to decline their appreciation items.  In turn, the funds designated for this item will be directed to Global Blood Fund (GBF), a charity whose mission is to make safe blood available in the world’s poorest countries.

“The need for blood is constant. It’s not affected by the seasons or the thermostat,” said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO. “We appreciate those in our community who show brotherly love by giving blood to literally save someone’s life.”

While all blood types are needed to maintain OBI’s typical three-day supply, those with negative type blood are especially urged to donate. Only 18 percent of the population has negative blood types, but those with these types must have negative type blood when needed. One single donation can save as many as three lives.

Donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute give every drop of blood needed by patients in all metro-Oklahoma City area hospitals and some 150 others across Oklahoma.

Make your life-saving appointment Today!

*16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds

Holiday cruise winners announced!

January 28, Cruising! That’s what Gary Powell from Atoka will be doing soon. He’s the lucky blood donor who won our holiday grand prize, courtesy of Cruises Inc.!

Gary supported our firefighters versus policemen blood drive in Hugo. Every day, those guys see the life-saving difference blood donors make for people who are in critical situations.

Winning the grand prize for drive coordinators, Sharon Bishop-Baldwin’s looking forward to beautiful weather while on a Caribbean cruise!

Thanks to Oklahomans for Equality for hosting a blood drive in Tulsa over the holidays when it’s such a challenge to sustain the blood supply!

Oklahoma Blood Institute Marrow Program Earns Top National Honors

December 10 - Oklahoma Blood Institute’s (OBI) marrow registry was named the nation’s top recruitment program for 2013 -14 by Be The Match®.  OBI surpassed nearly 50 other hospitals and blood centers plus numerous Be The Match Registry® state-based marrow donor recruiters to receive the highest overall performance designation.

For 12,000 people annually with leukemia and other blood diseases, marrow transplants are usually the only cure that exists.  Be The Match®, as part of the National Marrow Donor Program, connects blood cancer patients with life-saving marrow matches from people through affiliates such as Oklahoma Blood Institute. 

Be The Match® ranked marrow recruitment programs by number of people in key age ranges and races that were registered to donate marrow.  Additionally, programs were evaluated by the number of registrants who reconfirmed their commitment to donate when surveyed by Be The Match Registry®. Programs are also asked to enlist financial contributions to defer the costs of recruiting registrants and conducting required lab testing.

Only four centers achieved all Tier 1 performance standards established.  Of those, OBI was tops.  OBI’s marrow program had also received an Award for Quality Performance for its meticulous clinical standards for marrow donor preparation and collection techniques.

According to James Smith, M.D., Oklahoma Blood Institute chief medical officer, the program’s success is attributable to two things:  the commitment of Oklahomans to help others even when it means personal sacrifice, and the diligence of our marrow team at OBI.  “They are incredibly focused on being the best in such a life-saving role for our state. And, we can’t say enough about the generosity of our citizens.  They show such tremendous giving spirit, and this is just another example.”

About the Need for Marrow Registration

  • Only 30 percent of patients in the U.S. in need of a marrow transplant have a matching donor in their family. So, 70 percent depend on Oklahoma Blood Institute’s Marrow Program and others affiliated with the national marrow registry, Be The Match® to find a donor.
  • Only 31 percent of those who have registered have diverse racial or ethnic heritage. Because marrow traits are inherited, a patient’s most likely match is someone of the same heritage. Major efforts are underway to increase registrants of Native American, Alaska Native, Asian, African American, Hispanic, Latino and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Island heritage. 31% of those who have registered as potential donors have diverse racial or ethnic heritage. (3.2 million of the 10.5 million)

Registration Process

The entire registration process takes only 10 to15 minutes. Registrants need to:

  • be 18-44 years old and meet health guidelines,
  • complete a registration form with contact information for registrant and two family members or friends who can be reached in the future, in case registrant’s address changes,
  • answer health questions,
  • sign an agreement to join the registry, and
  • swab their cheeks for tissue typing.

Donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute also provide every drop of blood needed by all patients in metro-Oklahoma City area hospitals and 184 medical facilities and air ambulances across the state.  To register or schedule a registry event, call (405)297-5593 or email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).