When I sat at my desk to write this, my first article for Our Space, I wondered where I should start. Unfortunately, the tragic events of the last couple of weeks have provided a starting point.
The Boston Marathon bombing and the West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion, once again have demonstrated the importance of a stable and adequate blood supply. Community blood programs were there to answer the call where help was needed, and neighboring blood centers were quick to respond. This is what we do- this is what it is all about. The fruits of our labor are there along with the first responders and the hospital emergency teams. It is there in the surgical rooms. What we do provides another chance at life. Of course, we could not do this without the generous donation of the “gift of life” from the volunteer who donates blood before disaster strikes and the volunteer donor who replenishes the supply after the disaster. We, along with the first responders, the hospital team, and the donors, don’t do it for the accolades – but we do it because it is our duty to serve the community. We are so grateful to the donors who made ABC’s member blood centers able to respond to these disasters, and we send our thoughts and prayers to the victims of those affected by these tragedies.
Now, moving on to the goings-on at America’s Blood Centers. While ABC searches for a new CEO, we have begun the process of refocusing ABC initiatives on ABC’s strengths: advocacy, and education and networking, supported by data derived from the ABC Data Warehouse. These strengths lie in who we represent: blood centers that provide fifty percent of the US and one quarter of Canada’s blood supply. If you look back on the many accomplishments of ABC, you can see it was the numbers ABC represented that got us to the table, and it was the collective expertise of our membership that won the day. Although we have great challenges ahead as we work our way through the changing environment, ABC has enormous leverage if we stand together, utilizing our collective expertise to find working solutions. No matter what the circumstances, all of us working together are smarter than any one of us working alone.