ALTON, IL – Alton Memorial Hospital has once again reached Gold Level status in the American Red Cross’ “Champions for Life” campaign.

            Champions for Life is a health care initiative based on strong partnerships with area hospitals. Through partnerships like the one with AMH, the Red Cross strives for two results: to increase blood donations at hospital-sponsored blood drives and to provide recognition to hospital sponsors and their blood donors. Both results tie in with the Red Cross’ top priority, which is to secure a safe and adequate blood supply for patients in need.

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            Gold Level means that AMH held at least four American Red Cross blood drives during the 2009 calendar year and met predetermined collection goals. The support of the AMH staff and the public played a key role in the health center being able to reach Gold Level standards in 2009 with 1,088 donations.

            Julia Huelsmann, Missouri-Illinois Blood Services senior account manager, presented Doug Pytlinski, Alton Memorial’s vice president of Administration, a special Champions for Life plaque during a Red Cross blood drive at AMH on April 2.

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            “Alton Memorial has escalated its efforts to show that its support of helping patients goes beyond the day-to-day events at the hospital,” Huelsmann said. “This type of partnership is one which involves the entire staff, from top leadership all the way to the line staff – and this goes for both the hospital and the American Red Cross. We are honored to serve a health center with the dedication and support of Alton Memorial Hospital.”

            To help ensure an adequate blood supply, the Red Cross is asking eligible donors to join organizations like Alton Memorial and embrace the responsibility of giving blood. To find out more about the American Red Cross Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region, or to find a blood donation opportunity near you, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit



Doug Pytlinski, vice president of Administration at Alton Memorial Hospital, accepts a Champions for Life plaque from Julia Huelsmann, far left, Missouri-Illinois Blood Services senior account manager for the American Red Cross, on April 2 at AMH. In the center is Maria Schuetz of Cottage Hills, who is a frequent donor at local Red Cross blood drives. On the right are Tammy Lampe and Kelly Orban, donor recruitment representatives for the Red Cross. The next Red Cross blood drive at AMH is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 4.

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