My Crystal Ball is Hazy

June 7, 2013

Either the strategic drivers shaping the blood community’s environment are at an all time high of flux, or I am suffering from bilateral uveitis – perhaps it is both. Regardless, my crystal ball has never been less clear.  I had the honor of chairing America’s Blood Centers’ Strategic Business Intelligence Task Force in 2005. The…

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What Happened to the “I” ?

May 31, 2013

The acronym for America’s Blood Centers’ “core values,” IDEA, represents Innovation, Data Integration and Benchmarking, Education and Networking, and Advocacy. Although these values are not unique in themselves, they become powerful tools for ABC to serve its members. These tools are where the knowledge and leverage ofalloutweigh that ofone. Over the last couple of months,…

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You Ought to Tell the Donor That

May 24, 2013

A young man donated double red cells at our center about a week before running a marathon; not surprisingly, his performance was awful, and he was angry with us. We didn’t know he was planning to run, and he didn’t know that donating would hurt his performance. After we explained, he calmed down, and said,…

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Advocacy Works – Sometimes More Quickly than Other Times

May 17, 2013

One year ago, an ABC member blood center applied for a variance from Food and Drug Administration labeling regulations requiring results on red blood cell (RBC) labels to be from samples collected “at the time of filling the … blood container” and “on a specimen taken … at the time of collection.” The center requested permission…

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Building a Strong Foundation

May 10, 2013

Since we realigned and streamlined our core values, we came to the realization that not all values are   created equal. Some values depend on others to thrive and accomplish their goals. We rely on three values to deliver ABC’s mission of helping community blood centers: advocacy, networking and education, and data integration and benchmarking. Data,…

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On Being Obsessively Data Driven

May 3, 2013

When I wrote my first “Our Space” column several weeks ago, I shared a draft with my confidant and former   medical director, Dr. Louis Katz. His feedback was predictably direct: “I dislike passive voice and it seems quite fluffy.” Although I agreed with his feedback, I approved the draft, believing my first piece should be…

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"Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much" —Helen Keller

April 26, 2013

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…

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Helping the Helpers

April 19, 2013

As with so many, my heart is broken over the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Although I cannot fathom the trauma suffered by the victims, families, and witnesses affected, the fact that it happened at a race hits close to home. My husband and his brother have run numerous marathons, I have many friends who…

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“Generals are Always Prepared to Fight the Last War”

April 12, 2013

I was a bit surprised to open Streetlights and Shadows: Searching for the Keys to Adaptive Decision Making, a   book by Gary Klein, and find a well-thought-out discussion of a conundrum that has been nagging me my entire career: how do we optimally balance critical thinking, experience, and independent judgment with standardized metrics, standard operating…

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Of Root Canals, Traffic Jams, and Brussels Sprouts

April 5, 2013

A recent survey found that Congress is less popular than root canals, traffic jams, and Brussels sprouts.   Between partisan wrangling, brinksmanship, and the challenge of coming to agreement, it’s no wonder many would prefer eating their vegetables to watching the legislative process. And yet, Congress has enjoyed a number of important achievements in recent months.…

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