Sandia Labs News Releases

Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs face off to save lives

Competition proves every unit of blood counts

Sandia employee Zuzana Patterson, center, talks with Jacquelyn Chavez, left, and donor care tech Santa Vallejos while giving blood as part of the World Blood Day competition at Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo by Craig Fritz) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory faced off last month in a friendly battle to see who could bring in the most blood donations to mark World Blood Day and help the community.

The competition turned out to be a neck-and-neck situation with the winner being decided by a single unit of blood. Over two days in June, 124 Sandia employees donated 145 units of blood while 121 Los Alamos employees donated 146 pints.

Los Alamos employee John Parchman proudly donating blood at the friendly competition between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.
(Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

“Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory donors stepped up to this challenge and provided a tremendous amount of life-saving blood for our community,” said Heidi Chase and Drew Sharpless, Vitalant account managers for Los Alamos and Sandia. “Vitalant greatly appreciates the overwhelming and ongoing support of our mission of saving lives through the gift of blood donation. Ultimately, the real winners are the hospital patients in New Mexico who will benefit from their generous gift.”

Miquela beggs donating blood

Sandia employee Miquela Beggs proudly wears a t-shirt given to blood donors at the 2023 blood donation competition between Sandia National Laboratories and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
(Photo by Amy Tapia) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

Altogether, labs employees donated 291 units of blood, potentially impacting 689 patients in New Mexico. Additionally, Los Alamos had 38 first-time donors, while Sandia had 32.

“We’re stronger together,” said Kayla Norris, Los Alamos community relations specialist. “When both labs come together for a common purpose, we’re able to make a significant impact.”

Los Alamos employee Martin Ward smiles as he gives blood that will help other New Mexicans in need. (Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory) Click on the thumbnail for a high-resolution image.

While disappointed Sandia fell short by one unit, Community Involvement Manager Amy Tapia offered her congratulations to Los Alamos and praised all those who organized and took part in the event. “Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs truly collaborated for our community during this fun competition. We are proud of our employees rising to the challenge to meet the critical need for blood donations.”

Tapia then offered a challenge for a rematch next year, which Los Alamos happily accepted.

While the two labs put their efforts into overdrive in June, Sandia holds regular blood drives as a way to support the community. During bimonthly drives in 2022, more than a thousand Sandia employees donated 1,220 units of blood, which could potentially impact 2,360 lives.

Andrew Harvey donating blood

Sandia employee Andrew Harvey uses a squeezable cow to help blood flow during the blood drive at Sandia National Laboratories on June 27, 2023. (Photo by Craig Fritz)

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.

Sandia news media contact: Kim Vallez Quintana,, 505-537-3294