I never would have thought that 47 years ago, when interning for a local Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm that performed the annual audit for the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City, that I would end up with a 40-plus-year career in blood banking. This will be my last opportunity to write an article for Our Space as an ABC staff member, so I thought I would use this opportunity to reminisce and share with you how ABC (formerly the Council of Community Blood Centers) has been a major part of my career.
I was very lucky that Bill Bayer, MD, and then-executive director of the blood center, was willing to take a risk on a young accountant who thought he knew everything about the blood bank since, after all, I had been the senior auditor on the blood center account for the previous five years. Some of you who remember Dr. Bayer know that he was very passionate about his beliefs. One of those was that senior staff should not only be involved in local activities, but also national activities to be a successful leader. Within a year of my employment, I was on the ABC Finance Committee and preparing to give my first presentation at an ABC Annual Meeting. Interestingly enough, the presentation was on the cost of blood – a topic generating much discussion today.
The 1970s were a good time to be a chief financial officer at a blood center. Blood component usage was growing and we prepared our budgets by doing the expense side first and then setting the fee. Of course, this all changed in the 1980s and really has not stopped since. But during my career, because of myinvolvementwith ABC, I have had theopportunityto participate in the creation of many programs that have in some way benefited both community blood centers and the patients we serve. For me, I will mark these accomplishments all in thesuccesscolumn of my career.
So, if I am allowed to share some parting words of wisdom – get involved with ABC, provide theopportunityfor your staff to beinvolved, be a player, and make a difference. It will help make yousuccessfulboth as a blood bank leaders on the national stage and within the communities you serve.
Every two years ABC elects a new president and with the new president a call goes out for volunteers to staff the ABC Committees, so now is your chance to make a difference and be successful. (Editor’s Note: ABC members interested in serving on or learning more about ABC’s committees may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)
William Coenen, Chief Finanacial Officer; email@example.com