A new year begins with new challenges, a new administration in the White House, new legislators, and a plethora of issues for blood bankers-some new and some ongoing. Against the backdrop of so much change, what is the value of ABC to its members and why must we continue to speak as a single trade organization with one strong voice?
ABC is dedicated to protecting and advancing the needs of our blood centers. Last year was marked by non-stop advocacy: responding to Zika and all of its permutations; representing and vocalizing ABC members’ positions at the numerous Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services committee and task force meetings; responding to draft and final guidances; and behind-the-scenes negotiations that, despite less than perfect outcomes at times, mitigated situations from being much worse.
Amidst the backdrop of strong advocacy work in 2016, ABC established the ABC Professional Institute (API) Learning Portal with over 60 courses. To date, there are 300+ member center employees using the portal, with over 1,300 member logins. The ABC cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practices) video and facilitator guide, funded by an FABC grant, was completed and released to every member blood center. As concern for the size of our donor population grew, ABC acquired ADRP as an international division of our organization to consolidate and focus donor recruitment efforts and education. Continuing with this worldwide effort to attract blood donors, ABC members led the way with creative approaches to the Missing Type Campaign as well. We also provided critical benchmarking reports on financial ratios, industry service fees, and C-Suite compensation.
Our awesome ABC staff can attest these complicated projects and initiatives require long hours, attention-to-detail, and most of all, teamwork. Louis Katz, MD, and the SMT staff members are constantly monitoring, reviewing, and collaborating with organizations and agencies on scientific and medical matters that shape the blood industry. Kate Fry and the Membership Services group continue to produce the meetings, workshops, fundraising campaigns and events, ABC Professional Institute offerings, publications, and public relations efforts that educate the public and our members. Sameer Ughade and the IT/Data Warehouse team sit at the intersection of business, science, and technology as they continue to onboard ABC members into the data warehouse and produce business intelligence reports to advance the industry. Finance guru John Murphy and Trudy Thompson have been steadfast in achieving a clean audit and keeping the finances of ABC transparent and sound.
Thank you to ALL of the ABC and FABC Board Members, committee members, and ABC blood centers who support ABC as we continue to advance the interests of independent blood centers. From networking to advocacy to targeted survey data/research and education, ABC membership is an investment that pays the best interest.
Christine Zambricki, DNAP, CRNA, FAAN; Chief Executive Officer