Martinez, Noland encourage minorities to donate blood

Martinez blooddonorsMajority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) joined the Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers at a press conference to promote blood donation during Minority Health Month.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designates April as Minority Health Month to draw attention to health-related disparities that affect minorities.

“It’s very important that we educate the Latino community about the importance of becoming blood donors,” said Martinez, who is co-chairwoman of the Latino Caucus. “The majority of Latinos have type O blood, which is in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with other blood types.”

Latinos are the largest minority group, but make up less than 4 percent of blood donors. Additionally, Latinos only make up 10 percent of people on the National Bone Marrow Registry. African Americans also have low blood donation and Bone Marrow Registry participation rates.

“In my own district, nearly 40 percent of people are of Latino and African American descent,” said Noland. “It is imperative that we raise awareness in these communities for donating blood and bone marrow. This is not just a one-time issue; it is an everyday concern and one that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.”

It is estimated that one blood donation can save up to three lives. For contact information for community blood centers, click here.

Senator Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez

Assistant Majority Leader
20th District

Years served:
2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Government Accountability/Pensions (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Gov. Operations; Pension Investments Special Com. On (Co-Chairperson); Revenue (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Born Feb. 25, 1956, in Chicago; earned her bachelor's degree in public policy and administration from Northeastern Illinois University in 2009; elected president of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. She is also the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Co-Chair; has one daughter.

Associated Representatives:
Jaime M. Andrade, Jr.
Will Guzzardi