It’s been 42 years since the former Reid Memorial Hospital Blood Bank first joined forces with Community Blood Center, and the partnership has only grown stronger over the decades. Reid Health blood drives expanded in 2015, resulting in an award-winning year, and 2016 is already setting new milestones.
Reid Health hosts six CBC blood drives a year, with the most recent held Friday, May 20 in Lingle Hall. A combination of hospital staff and community donors contributed to a high mark of 196 registrations and 160 donations for 100 percent of the collection goal.
At Friday’s blood drive CBC presented Reid Health with the Platinum LifeSaving Ambassadors Club Award for 2015, the highest for blood drive excellence. Reid is a perennial recipient of the award, but 2015 broke new ground. Reid blood drives had 674 donors in 2015, a 15 percent increase over 2014, and 564 donations, a 22 percent increase. Collections for the year topped 108 percent of goal.
CBC Account Representative Melinda Frech thanked Director of Laboratory Services Chuck McGill, who has served as blood drive coordinator for 30 years.
“The main reason I started doing it, I was the blood bank supervisor at that time,” said Chuck, “So I knew the need and how important it was to the blood supply.” When Chuck came to Reid in 1979 he worked for John Stepleton, and followed him as lab and blood bank manager in 1984. Stepleton, who Chuck described as “an awesome person,” had overseen the new association with CBC.
On Feb. 10, 1974 Reid Memorial Hospital announced that it would “associate” with CBC to “offer participation in blood programs to families, industries, organizations, churches and schools.”
Executive Director Ken Spoon told the Pal-Item, “Community Blood Center has demonstrated success in other communities and we are confident it will provide our hospital with a first rate service and more than adequate blood supply.”
Over the years Reid has been a welcoming home base for CBC in Richmond. It was quick to help CBC meet a need to collect blood more cost-effectively by expanding the already successful blood drives in Lingle Hall. “Our people understand more than most how blood usage is now,” said Chuck. “Our increase is mainly because of outside donors. That’s had the most effect on us.”
Tammy Sarver, who made her 21st lifetime donation Friday, always donates at Reid. “I worked in IT at Reid for 10 years,” she said. “My first time donating was here.” She now works across town, but said, “Before I didn’t have to drive, but I like coming here.”
Kim Maynard, who made her third lifetime donation Friday, is a radiology student who also returns to Reid to donate. “I used to work in the pharmacy, so it was really convenient to just come downstairs,” she said. “But I still come here to donate.”
Kim was among the blood donors who also registered Friday with Be The Match as potential bone marrow donors in support of Reid nurse Cecilia Crowe, who has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “It’s in honor of her,” said Community Engagement Representative Angela Touseull. “She did get her match. What we’re doing today is increasing awareness of the need for people to join.”