Blood Institute honors Cherokees for donations

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The Oklahoma Blood Institute is honoring the Cherokee Nation and the tribe's business arm for helping save thousands of lives throughout the state because of employees' blood donations.

The agency estimates the tribe has donated enough blood to save more than 18,000 lives since 2010. Tribal employees gave more than 1,800 pints of blood in 2013— potentially saving more than 5,000 lives.

This year, OBI named Cherokee Nation as its Government Partner of the Year. The honor recognizes the tribe for hosting 28 blood drives with more than 500 donors in the past year.

The institute is the sole provider of blood to 140 medical facilities in Oklahoma, including the tribe's W.W. Hastings Hospital in Tahlequah.

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