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  • Mon, May 14, 2018 7:46 AM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    Each year, time is set aside at the ADRP Annual Conference to honor individuals, groups and organizations that have demonstrated outstanding service, accomplishments or leadership in the donor experience profession.

    Award winners receive a complimentary registration to our annual ADRP conference, a commemorative award and recognition on the ADRP website as well as in our newsletter, the Drop.

    The 2018 ADRP Awards of Excellence were presented at an awards breakfast on Friday, May 11, 2018 at the ADRP Annual Conference in Dallas, TX.  The winners were:

    Donor Recruiter of the Year Award - Elizabeth Morales, from the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center

    When Liz started working at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, she looked at it as just another job.  But it quickly became far more, and three years into it, she considers it even more than a career. She is on a mission.

    “My job has a purpose,” she says. “Every day, I am actually doing something to help saves lives.”

    Liz shares her passion and sense of mission with the companies she works with to develop and execute successful blood drives.  She often connects partnering businesses with local patients who are benefiting from blood donations, which has resulted in many of her blood drives exceeding goals.  This approach provides the connection essential to motivating donors and non-donors to step up, particularly if they don’t otherwise have a personal reason for donating blood. 

    Liz has exceeded her territory goal for the past 15 months in a row.  The number of units collected in 2017 represents an 8.5 percent increase over 2016.  In working with a local pizza restaurant Big Lou’s, she facilitated a grassroots, community response that generated 250 units.  Encouraged by that success, the group has signed up to host an additional visit each year.   

    Liz continues to strive and achieve the goals set in front of her by her management team but says she has personal goals as well.  Her passion for her work as a donor recruiter only increased when her father became ill a year ago and needed blood.

    Liz said, “When I would see him get a transfusion, I knew I had played a role in him receiving that. Watching him receive the blood, I felt it had come full circle – it was my family in need now.”

    Media Partner Award - iHeart Media 107.9 WSRZ, SunCoast Blood Bank nominated by SunCoast Blood Bank in Sarasota, FL

    iHeart Media has been an advocate of blood donation in the SunCoast region for the past 12 years.  Their entire staff - from the general manager, to the promotion staff, to their on-air personalities – all support SunCoast in many ways.

    A key event that 107.9 WSRZ hosts each year is Pints for Play, hosted by their popular morning team. The station devotes an entire day to promote and raise awareness about the importance of blood donation.   Pints for Play is a 13-hour, commercial-free blood drive marathon. Suncoast uses a fixed site plus their fleet of eight bloodmobiles for the event, all at the same location. Every donor receives a song play of their choice or the opportunity to tape a 30 second spot promoting their business or special cause.  During the day, the station plays interviews with blood donors and blood recipients. The event has grown from collecting just short of 200 units its first year, to collecting almost 600 units at its 10th annual event, which was just held yesterday.

    iHeart’s support does not stop at Pints for Play. Three years ago, iHeart Media offered to sponsor a Corporate Challenge.  Each year, they offer a $10,000 advertising package to the organization able to generate the most blood donations. The challenge runs for four weeks and is heavily promoted. The campaign has resulted in many new accounts and even more awareness about the importance of blood drives in the community.

    iHeart Media supports SunCoast in other ways as well. If they are experiencing a shortage, all they have to do is call and they make appeals to the community for several days to help. They regularly banter on air about SunCoast throughout the year. They invite donors into the studio to share their stories and blood drive sponsors to promote high-profile drives. 

    This is a partnership that has endured and flourished with age and SunCoast couldn’t do what it does without their support.

    Rolf Kovenetsky Leader of the Year Award - Collections Supervisor, Manager or Director - Aubrey Oyler, United Blood Services in Rapid City, SD

    Aubrey has over 17 years of Donor Care experience.   Being a leader to Aubrey means passion for what she does and how she influences others.  It means allowing others to exceed her expectations and recognizing staff for their efforts.  It’s important for Aubrey to be human, humble, patient and empathetic to the needs of others.  This is what makes Aubrey an outstanding leader in donor care.  She recognizes the individual and what they have to offer. 

    Aubrey has exceptional interpersonal skills.  She has been a rock for the Rapid City United Blood Services location due to her longevity, passion for the mission, and donor care knowledge.  Since taking her role in 2004, she has been influential in training other donor care supervisors.  Aubrey has a good understanding that change is how we grow and improve, and she is able to communicate this to her staff.  Aubrey’s core values and her dedication has helped her excel in her position and stay well-rounded, focused, driven and compassionate for the people she works with.  Aubrey takes great pride in delivering the best customer service to our donors, customer, and staff members.  It’s very easy for Aubrey to relate to people and she can ALWAYS put a smile on someone’s face.  

    Rolf Kovenetsky Leader of the Year Award - Recruitment Supervisor, Manager or Director - Karen Muscolino, New York Blood Center in New York City, NY

    In 1994 Karen Muscolino joined New York Blood Center (NYBC) as an Account Manager in the Long Island region.  She loved her job, excelled in her role and was quickly promoted within two years, first to Recruitment Manager, then to Recruitment Director. 

    Managing a team of 11 Account Managers, Karen is responsible for 160,000 of the 388,000 unit goal at NYBC.  35,000 of those units come from donor centers in her territory.  

    One of the qualities that make Karen so unique is that she is adaptable to our ever changing industry despite many years of service.   You’ll never hear her say, “But we do it this way!”  She is good whether in growth mode or if she needs to switch to a declining mode.  She understands and has embraced the needs for efficiency, projection accuracy and cost containment.   

    She is well respected among her peers for her knowledge and for her leadership of a very cohesive team.   This summer, Karen opened her home for a team building day of good food and fun.  Barefoot and blindfolded, she participated in all of the exercises and the day of silliness and laughter did much to boost morale during the challenging summer months.  

    Karen’s relationships extend beyond NYBC walls too.  She does outstanding work with NYBC’s Volunteer Leadership Team (VLT).  The VLT was started by Rolf Kovenetsky in 1980 and is a network of corporate and community leaders that help support NYBC’s mission.  Karen learned from Rolf and embraced his motto “involvement leads to commitment.” 

    Humanitarian Service Award (Community Organization) - Father Richard Augustyn, Kaleida Health System nominated by Unyts in Buffalo, NY

    The Humanitarian Service Award recognizes a community organization that encourages the spirit of volunteerism.

    Father Richard Augustyn began making contributions toward blood donation at the inception of Unyts community blood bank in 2007. He continues more than ten years later with aiding in blood recruitment for all sites within the Kaleida Health system with 1,000 units of blood collected annually.

    Over the years, Father Richard and Kaleida Health have shown their dedication to this lifesaving Mission. His tremendous passion and commitment to help humanity is shown in the endless hours he works to show that everyone can save lives.

    Unyts says it has been a privilege to know this enthusiastic and dedicated priest and humanitarian and to work with their top health care organization.

    Blood Drive Award - Most Creative - Cathy Flores, NAVMC - Northern AZ Volunteer Medical Corp. nominated by United Blood Services in Flagstaff, AZ

    The driving force behind this blood drive is volunteer coordinator, Cathy Flores. She hosts several drives, but without question, the largest and most creative is the Annual Zombie Blood Drive.  

    Cathy Flores, a NAVMC volunteer, wanted to help children and the community locally. She does so with many different events in Flagstaff, but her pride and joy is the Annual Zombie Blood Drive and Fundraiser. This partnership began in 2014. Cathy wanted an event that was locally beneficial, but also fun for those donating blood and money for good causes. The first year in 2014, Cathy and NAVMC brought in 30 successful blood donations and $4300 for the local foodbank. Since that time, the blood drive and fundraiser have grown with the 2017 Zombie blood drive collecting 95 blood donations as well as $22K for the local foodbanks.

    Cathy collaborates with a network of businesses including Subway, Coca-Cola, BBVA Compass Bank, which is the location for the drive.

    The BBVA Compass Bank is completely transformed with Zombie and Halloween décor. Donors have the fun opportunity to receive Zombie makeovers, scars, tattoos, etc. It is fun to see even the more stoic regular donors have a good time and get Zombiefied! Donors also have an opportunity to buy hands for the Zombie Hand Drop Fundraiser.  At the end of the blood drive, the hands are dropped off a building and the hand that falls in or closest to the square on the body outline receives 1st place. 

    Cathy adds new events each year and is already planning for the 5th Annual Zombie Blood Drive and Fundraiser where she wants to include a Zombie Crawl. Her dream is for this to become a statewide event.

    Blood Drive Award - Most Productive - Janet Rewolinski, RN, Aurora Health Care, Inc. nominated by Blood Center of Wisconsin, a part of Versiti in Milwaukee, WI

    Aurora Health Care already held many drives with BCW, but in 2015 they started an Accelerated Blood Program.

    The Purpose of the Program was to increase Aurora Caregiver blood donations. That first year, Aurora Caregivers collected 1,566 successful donations or 5% of their total usage for 2015.  The Aurora Health Care Accelerated Blood Program goal was to increase donations from 1,500 in 2015 to 3,000 donations by 2017.

    By the end of 2016, Aurora collected 628 more units which was a 40% increase over 2015.  They added 6 additional drives and increased the average blood drive size from 20 to 26.

    They did even better last year. In 2017, they increased collections 19% and added 26 additional drives over 2016.  Final count for 2017 was 3,378 donations which exceeded their goal of 3,000.

    Aurora Health Care embodies and practices their community outreach motto: “We are better together because of our partnerships with hundreds of organizations across our footprint.”  Aurora Health Care’s partnership with BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, has impacted many patients’ lives and will continue to grow to serve more patient’s in the future.

    School Blood Drive Award (High School or College) - La Samare High School in Plessisville, Québec, Canada nominated by Héma-Québec

    The School Blood Drive Award is given to a high school or college that has shown an exceptional commitment to establishing blood donation as a priority among its students, and La Samare High School does just that.

    It all began with ONE STUDENT-ONE DONOR  - An exceptional teacher’s vision.

    François Gagnon is a science teacher at La Samare High School, which has a student enrolment of 900. He has coordinated the school’s annual blood drive since 2011. François integrates the organization of the event into his course plan to mobilize the students to become involved in the project. The blood drive has become so popular that all the students at the school join forces on this project. In addition to pencils, binders and erasers, the school board has even allowed La Samare to integrate the responsibility for recruiting a blood donor for the annual drive into the list of requirements for students at the beginning of the year. This is a perfect illustration of François’s vision of “one student–one donor”.

    In 2011, the blood drive welcomed 260 blood donors that first year, far exceeding its original goal of 160. Since then, the goal and results have consistently exceeded expectations: the 2018 drive was just held 2 weeks ago. The goal was 1,000 units and the drive collected 1,091 making this one-day blood drive the most successful in the entire province of Québec.

    For any high school to draw more units than they have students is incredible. What makes this story even more amazing is that the High School is located in a small town of only 6,700 residents. And the students who organize the blood drive cannot give blood at their own event because they have not reached the legal age of 18. So all donors have to be recruited within the community!

    In raising awareness among youth about the importance of giving the “gift of life”, François’s vision is also to ensure future generations of blood donors. Since 2013, there has been a visible increase in the presence of former students returning as blood donors. Students watched the Awards presentation via Facebook Live. Watch the students of La Samare High School thank ADRP for the award here.

    Donor Collections Team Member Award - Nikki Gordon, Carter BloodCare in Bedford, TX

    The Collections Team Member Award was introduced in 2013 to recognize the valuable role collections plays in the donor experience.

    Nikki Gordon is a phlebotomist 2 (P2) at Carter BloodCare (CBC). She has developed a ‘can-do’ reputation about her work since joining the organization in 2010. Nikki has done whatever it takes on her end to help ensure that CBC’s Mission statement, “We save lives by making transfusion possible” is an enduring truth. 

    Nikki has excelled in all areas of the program and received a promotion to her

    The new title meant accepting all of the responsibilities that come with supervising a team. Nikki has developed many individual staff members since her supervisory duties took effect. Her desire to help people succeed has been noticed, and there is not a shortage of people yearning to join her team if an opportunity presents itself.  They recognize her ability to coach and people want that help from her. Mobile Collections management has recognized this, too and plans to use Nikki as a mentor to develop future leaders in the department.

    Ron Franzmeier Lifetime Achievement Award – Aissa Martin, American Red Cross, Atlanta, GA

    The Franzmeier Award was established in 1991 to honor a leader in the field of Donor Recruitment. 

    Aissa is currently one of four national instructors of Donor Recruitment for the American Red Cross.  With over 25 years in blood banking, she has served in many capacities in the industry. Her career began in Collections.  She later served as a lead blood banking tech for LABCorp. Aissa’s recruitment career began with Florida Blood Services as a donor recruiter, specializing in the youth market.  She continued her career in donor recruitment with LifeSouth, prior to her employment with the Southern Region American Red Cross.

    As a regional manager for the Southern Region, she has served on numerous task forces and initiatives. She also managed the Business Development Manager Program. Additionally her numbers are outstanding;  in her first year in donor recruitment, department she exceeded goal by 22%. 

    In addition to her work with the blood industry, Aissa has been a member of ADRP since 2000. She was on the ADRP Board of Directors from 2009 to 2014. She is the recipient of the 2002 Leadership Award in Recruitment from the Southern Region and 2003 Manager of the Year from ADRP. She is a frequent presenter at ADRP conferences and thoroughly embodies the ADRP Mission.

    Because of these efforts, Aissa has earned admiration from those for whom and with whom she works with in the blood industry.

  • Fri, February 02, 2018 1:41 PM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    A bit of life advice from Hol:

    It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.

    That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

    I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

    I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared - I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit.

    I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

    Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.

    Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that - breathe.

    You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

    Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.

    I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise - Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things ... until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.

    I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it.

    Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

    Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.

    Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.

    Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

    It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.

    Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

    Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.

    This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

    Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.

    Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.

    Get amongst nature.

    Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.

    Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females .

    Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.

    Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.

    Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.

    Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?

    Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.

    Work to live, don’t live to work.

    Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.

    Eat the cake. Zero guilt.

    Say no to things you really don’t want to do.

    Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay.

    Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.

    Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it - in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

    Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind!

    Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.

    Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year - a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.

    ..’Til we meet again.



  • Mon, January 29, 2018 9:20 AM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    In 2001, lifelong Floridian Nick Vojnovic joined Be The Match, the National Marrow Donor Program Registry.   As president of Beef O’Brady’s restaurants, he participated in a bone marrow registry drive held at one of his restaurants in support of a patron whose young son needed a compatible donor for a marrow/stem cell transplant.   In 2006, Nick was a potential donor for another patient and upon follow up testing, was told there were some anomalies in his bone marrow and he should consult a hematologist.  He followed up with doctors who monitored his health and in 2015, was diagnosed with Myelofibrosis, a precursor to leukemia and was told he needed a stem cell transplant. 

    Luckily, an unrelated donor match who joined the registry during college was found and with her donation and the support of many OneBlood platelet and blood donors, Nick underwent his transplant at Moffitt Cancer Center in January 2017 and won his battle to live!  A surprise meeting between Nick and his stem cell donor Caroline has been arranged for January 31, 2018 in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

    To learn more about Be The Match go to: or call Marc Silver at 727-348-5060.

    To learn more about the importance of blood and platelet donation and how donors can target the power of their blood type, visit or call 1.888.9DONATE (1.888.936.6283)

  • Wed, January 10, 2018 4:42 PM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    Holly Butcher died at 27.

    The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has echoed the words of cancer victim Holly Butcher, who penned a letter published after her death that encouraged people to regularly give blood.

    In the heartfelt message posted on Ms Butcher's Facebook page, the 27-year-old said donations had prolonged her life and she asked people to "do a good deed for humanity [and myself] and start regularly donating blood".

    "I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save three lives!" she wrote.

    Ms Butcher, who News Corp reported had died of Ewing's sarcoma, wrote that blood donations allowed her to have an extra year of life.

    "A year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life," she wrote.

    Read more

  • Wed, January 10, 2018 4:23 PM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    A man has found a kidney donor, several months after a photo of him wearing this t-shirt around Disney World went viral. Robert Leibowitz, of New Jersey, has been on dialysis for three years. His children can't donate because of their own hereditary health issues. 

    Richie Sully, of Indiana, was donating blood in wake of Hurricane Harvey when he learned he was O positive. As it turns out, he was a match for Robert! Sully said, “As a father, I could relate to having kids, and the last thing I would want my kids to worry about every night when they go to bed is how much more time they have with me.” Read more.

  • Wed, January 10, 2018 4:21 PM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    Millions of individuals text emojis every minute of every day, to equal over a billion. Globally, 112.5 million blood donations are collected each year, according to World Health Organizations. We think it’s time those millions of donors get the recognition they deserve, starting with their own special emoji.

    The international #BloodDonorEmoji campaign is sponsored by Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, the nonprofit blood center serving the Piedmont region of North and South Carolina. CBCC believes that together, we can shine a spotlight on the incredible volunteers who so generously give of themselves in such a remarkable way. We can raise awareness about the tremendous and constant demand for blood donors as we work to better support the needs of hospitals and patients in our own communities around the world.

    “This isn’t an effort in the interest of any single blood supplier or group, but an effort to bring recognition and awareness to blood donation and the donors that give, around the world."  said Martin Grable President and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. "Social media and texting have become integral to reaching and moving people to action in a pictorial language universally understood.  Recognizing the need, we hope everyone will join in and sign the petition.”

    To learn more and sign the petition, click here.

  • Wed, January 10, 2018 4:20 PM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Inclement winter weather – like what the U.S. is experiencing so far this year – often results in cancelled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.

    Share photos and stories of your blood center's celebrations with ADRP on social media by tagging #adrpgiveblood and #nationalblooddonormonth on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Mon, November 20, 2017 10:25 AM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    When the FDA introduced new rules for blood banks last September that every unit donated in the United States must now be tested for the Zika virus, this created a new challenge for U. S. blood centers. But it also created an opportunity for researchers that study infectious disease. By flagging blood donations infected with Zika, the nationwide testing helped the Blood Systems Research Institute to identify donors to enroll in research studies as potential test subjects. Results from one of those studies, which followed 50 Zika-infected blood donors for 24 weeks, were presented at the recent AABB conference in October.

    The Blood Systems Research Institute is the central laboratory for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), which studies transfusion medicine in a study called REDS-III. Many organizations in the United States that collect and distribute blood take advantage of the samples at their disposal to conduct research studies. Most of these studies are focused on making sure the blood supply used to treat sick and injured people is safe and reliable, but the resulting data also gives scientists basic information about blood-born diseases like Zika, HIV, hepatitis, West Nile virus, and others.

    Like a lot of blood science, these testing programs got their start in the late 1980's when HIV and AIDS were on the rise. That is when the NHLBI started the first iteration of the REDS program, initially called the Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study. “It did a lot of work to better understand HIV and better characterize the risks of infection,” says Simone Glynn, chief of the Blood Epidemiology and Clinical Therapeutics Branch at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The first run of the program spanned 13 years, from 1989 to 2001. REDS-II ran from 2004 to 2012. The current program, REDS-III, started in 2011.

    In the 28 years since the start of REDS, blood donor research has helped tracked the epidemiology of various diseases in the general population by extrapolating out from the number of infected donors, says Glynn. It has helped scientists understand the way infections like HIV, hepatitis-C and West Nile Virus appear and progress in the body. Research through the program drew a connection between a virus called human T-lymphotropic virus type II and a progressive neurodegenerative disease in 1997, and tracked a 2014 Chikungunya virus outbreak in Puerto Rico.

    For more on the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III), go here.

    (Partially reprinted from an article in Popular Science)

  • Mon, November 13, 2017 11:51 AM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    On October 18 &19 2017, the Austrian Red Cross in Vienna hosted an international workshop on Content Marketing. Participants were from 6 countries: Finland, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Austria. And together they represented more than 10 blood services. These 2 days were all about sharing knowledge, ideas and best practices. Several blood services presented some of their work, like how they use social media or (online) donor magazines. And there were some non-blood bank speakers that talked about how to create a successful campaign and the use of loyalty programs. In between the presentations the participants did some group work, creating a content strategy together and a brainstorm on how to retain first time donors.

    This wasn’t the first time that some countries in Europe worked together, and it won’t be the last time! A new meeting, with a new topic, will be organized prior to the European Conference on Donor Health Management, September 2018 in Copenhagen (Denmark).

  • Thu, November 09, 2017 9:17 AM | Steve Bolton (Administrator)

    The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) has provided more than 200 units of blood to hospitals in South Texas treating Sunday’s shooting victims in Sutherland Springs.

    STBTC, a subsidiary of nonprofit BioBridge Global, provided blood to Connally Memorial Medical Center in Floresville, the San Antonio Military Medical Center trauma center and University Hospital, where victims were being treated. The center is continuing to provide blood to these hospitals and more than 70 hospitals across the region.

    “After a tragedy like this, people want to know what they can do to help. A concrete way to help is to donate blood to help replenish blood supplies so we’re ready to help the next patients who need blood, said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

    It is critical that a constant supply of blood is available for hospitals at all times – especially before tragedies occur. It can take up to 24 hours to test and process blood before it’s ready for transfusion. STBTC has to be prepared for the next need, no matter where it occurs.

    Anyone with O-positive or O-negative blood is asked to donate, as supplies are low.

    STBTC also is asking for community members to donate platelets. Platelets are the blood components that help promote clotting, and they are constantly in demand. 

    People can donate at any of the seven South Texas Blood & Tissue Center donor rooms or at mobile blood drives happening around South Texas today.  They also can donate at SAMMC and at University Hospital. In addition, STBTC is arranging blood drives this week in the Floresville area and across South Texas.

    Members of the community can schedule a blood donation by going to or calling 210-731-5590. Information also is available on our Facebook page at Connect For Life.

    The need for blood donations will remain high especially in the coming months, so donors are asked to remember to give as often as possible. STBTC serves more than 70 hospitals and clinics, including University Hospital.

    All donors will need to have a photo ID. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood.

    (Press release from posted November 6, 2017

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ADRP, an International Division of America's Blood Centers, is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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