Annetta Morris, longtime Director of Commit for Life and Marketing at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, ended her brave battle with illness on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. True to form, Annetta “fought until the last ounce of strength left her body,” her family shared. She was 49 years old.
Throughout her two decades at The Blood Center, Annetta epitomized the program named in her most recent title, committing much of her life to helping others through her work at The Blood Center. Even before facing her own health crisis, she passionately promoted the importance of lifesaving blood donations.
“Annetta’s passion for The Blood Center’s mission shined through in everything she did,” Brian G. Gannon, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s President and CEO, said. “The patients we serve were always her top priority, and I am certain that her contributions have had a profound impact on many lives.”
A graduate of the University of Texas, Annetta began her career with The Blood Center in 1995 in the Donor Recruitment department. She left the organization in 1999, accepting a position with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but returned to The Blood Center in 2002, working in Donor Recruitment and MIS before becoming Commit for Life Program Manager in 2004. She was appointed Director of Commit for Life in 2007 and held that position until her passing.
Annetta was a driving force behind some significant changes The Blood Center experienced in the 2000s, with her leadership of the Commit for Life program helping the organization grow its annual collections to the highest levels in its history. Commit for Life changed the way The Blood Center did business, and Annetta contributed greatly.
She was a key figure in the creation and implementation of Commit for Life and development of The Blood Center’s brand identity. Annetta felt strongly about communicating the need for blood donations through the stories of donors and recipients. She developed friendships with many of the patients who participated in The Blood Center’s awareness campaigns, following their journeys throughout the years.
The Blood Center’s lifesaving mission was Annetta’s guidepost, leading her actions throughout her career. Her passing leaves a tremendous void in the hearts of all who knew and loved her. Like the patients whose lives were touched by the work she did, her colleagues, staff and so many others in our community are better for having known her.