…it means that, despite two major hurricanes in the past three weeks, ABC members assembled a quorum in Atlanta for a special members meeting and passed the bylaws changes needed to achieve the important realignment of ABC, Blood Centers of America (BCA), and HemeXcel. Despite logistical hurdles, 49 of 52 ABC members registered their votes, and an overwhelming majority of 97 percent supported the bylaws changes. Our thoughts and support go to the ABC centers and their staffs in Florida and Texas who endured the storms and now must manage their recovery. Their tasks make ours look a bit pedestrian.
Thanks are owed to the leadership from all three organizations (members and staff both) in the working group who have crafted our realignment. The outgoing board has acted in the best interest of ABC, for which we gratefully recognize them.
A new ABC Board of Directors has been constituted and consists of some of our best thinkers. Martin Grable, Delisa English, and Mike Parejko from BCA along with Jim AuBuchon, MD from HemeXcel have been retained for expertise and continuity. David Green and Bud Scholl are new members appointed from HemeXcel. John Armitage, MD, has accepted from BCA.
Now we begin the work of squaring our aspirations with reality—aligning the activities of the organizations to ensure their effectiveness and efficiency moving forward. With the new structure in place, we will move to the work at hand:
- Convene the new board, elect officers, review, and where needed, revise our strategic plan;.
- Reach agreement on a senior executive structure for ABC and execute the required searches;
- Clarify the immediate advocacy agenda and our relationships and focus with the Department of Health and Human Services, Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability and Blood, Organ, and Tissue Senior Executive Council, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Hill. Decide how to integrate our efforts, with AABB, the American Red Cross, and our suppliers;.
- Structure existing committees and distribute projects logically to the strengths of the three organizations (ABC, BCA, and HemeXcel), i.e. integration of member efforts;.
- Determine the structure and requirements of a new Data LLC to serve our advocacy, operational, and monetization interests and access the funding to support it; and
- Identify redundant services for consolidation.
We want to thank all of the members of ABC for their support in this important initiative and look forward to the opportunity to continue to help member blood centers serve their communities.