Earlier this month, America’s Blood Centers (ABC), the national organization of community-based, independent blood centers that supply 60% of the nation’s blood supply, recognized leaders from across the country for excellence in supporting the nation’s blood supply over the last year as part of its annual Awards of Excellence.
The award recipients were honored in Washington, D.C., as part of ABC’s Annual Meeting, which brought together blood center executives and national leaders to discuss advocacy and regulatory updates; the latest in science, medicine, and technical affairs; and key topics facing the industry.
“America’s Blood Centers is proud to recognize the outstanding work of these award recipients, who have been leaders in promoting blood donation and ensured that blood products are available for patients. Their dedication has helped strengthen the blood supply at a time when the blood community continues to navigate the ongoing challenges from the COVID pandemic. Blood center staff nationwide and our community and government partners work together to encourage more individuals to selflessly give blood to help save lives,” said Kate Fry, Chief Executive Officer at America’s Blood Centers.
Outstanding Blood Drive of the Year
The Donate for Mothers blood drive in Colorado, earned recognition as the Outstanding Blood Drive of the Year. Cofounded by Dr. Vy Rossi of Donate for Mothers, the Amniotic Fluid Embolism Foundation, Colorado Accreta Survivors and the National Accreta Foundation, this drive attracted nearly 1,000 donors in 2022, reaching a 115% goal attainment.
“Donate for Mothers blood drives are here to remind us to give back to our mothers, especially those with pregnancy complications. Our alliance of women's health advocates is here to spread awareness, to lift survivors, and to support hope and gratitude for the gift of blood donation,” said Dr. Vy Rossi, founder of Donate for Mothers. “Thank you to Vitalant and America’s Blood Centers for this national honor - Donate for Mothers could not have better partners for this labor of love.”
Blood Community Advocate of the Year
Vitalant earned a second award in the Blood Community Advocate of the Year category for the ADVANCE Study, which focused on evaluating alternatives to the blood donor deferral policy known as men who have sex with men (MSM). Currently, the FDA recommends that men who have had sex with another man be deferred from donating blood for three months after the most recent sexual contact with another man.
The purpose of the FDA-funded study – led by Vitalant Research Institute and conducted with OneBlood and the American Red Cross – was to gather data to assist the FDA in determining if a blood donor history questionnaire based on individual risk would be an acceptable alternative to a time-based deferral in reducing the risk of HIV among gay and bisexual men who present to donate blood.
The Blood Community Advocate of the Year award honors individuals who demonstrate leadership, commitment, or extraordinary service in advocating on behalf of ABC member blood centers and the blood community.
Congratulations to these Vitalant winners and all others recognized by ABC for their outstanding contributions to our industry.