|"Local Heroes Saving Lives”
Blood Program Honors Donors
Some 351 volunteer blood donors were honored at the Regional Medical Center's 37th annual Blood Assurance Program Awards Banquet on April 12 at The Cinema in Orangeburg.
Honorees who have donated 10 or more gallons of blood to the Regional Medical Center Blood Assurance Program are shown with blood program representatives. From left are Blood Donor Center Supervisor Gail Lott; Debbie Lyons, 11-gallon donor; Tom Kerr, 14-gallon donor; Russell Jones, 12-gallon donor; Gary Auton, 13-gallon donor; Phebe Fee, 12-gallon donor; David Nivens, 16-gallon donor; Bettye Stokes, 13-gallon donor; David Linder, 23-gallon donor; Nancy Eileen Linder, 10-gallon donor; Carl Strock,11-gallon donor; Eugene Robinson, 13-gallon donor; Lewis Wiles, 12-gallon donor; Curt Campbell, 11-gallon donor; Bill Gramling, 11-gallon
donor; and BAP Coordinator Shea Woodward. Not pictured are Diane Ferrier, 14-gallon donor; Rex Williams, 12-gallon donor; Leonard Felkel, 11-gallon donor; and Mike Evans and Jesse Reed, 10-gallon donors.
Donors who reached milestone levels of blood donations during the past year were on hand to be recognized and received gifts of appreciation. David Linder, a 23-gallon donor, was the top honoree at the banquet. Other top donors for the past year include David Nivens Jr., 16 gallons; Diane Ferrier and Tom Kerr, 14 gallons; Gary Auton, Eugene Robinson and Bettye Stokes, 13 gallons; Phebe Fee, Russell Jones, Lewis Wiles and Rex Williams, 12 gallons; Curt Campbell, Leonard Felkel, Bill Gramling, Debbie Lyons and Carl Strock, 11 gallons; and Mike Evans, Nancy Eileen Linder and Jesse Reed, 10 gallons.
Linder has carried on a family tradition – both of his parents were donors, and he has supported the Blood Assurance Program since 1976. Linder said that the reason he has given so much blood is because the need for blood is constant. “I can help others by giving blood, and that’s what it’s all about,” he commented.
A member of RMC’s blood program since 1986, 16-gallon honoree David Nivens Jr. said that being a blood donor is a great opportunity to help others. “It’s a great feeling to do something to help others,” he said.
This year’s banquet theme was “Local Heroes Saving Lives,” and 351 individual blood donors were honored along with 65 business, industrial and community organization members who were recognized for their participation during 2010. The top 10 participating groups who donated the most blood received special recognition and included: Albemarle Corporation, Edisto High School, Department of Public Utilities, Phoenix Specialty Manufacturing, SC Department of Transportation-Orangeburg, SC Department of Transportation-Bamberg, Zeus Industrial Products, Inc. of Orangeburg, Zeus Sales and Marketing, The Okonite Company and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.
"Blood donors are indeed heroes; they care so much about others and give of themselves so others may live," commented Blood Assurance Program Coordinator Shea Woodward.
RMC's Bloodmobile makes three to four visits a week to area industries, businesses, schools, churches and civic groups. "These special groups serve a vital role in meeting the blood needs of our community," Woodward said.
Accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks and the Food and Drug Administration, the RMC’s Blood Assurance Program maintains the highest standards in blood collection and testing. “That means that our patients and their families can be confident in the blood supply at the Regional Medical Center,” said RMC Blood Donor Center Supervisor Gail Lott.
Since 1974 the RMC’s Blood Assurance Program (BAP) has supplied the blood needs for the Orangeburg and Calhoun region. “Most hospitals have to rely on other agencies for blood. The Regional Medical Center has its own community blood bank, and we’re very proud of that,” said Lott. “We’re one of only a few independent, community-based blood donor programs in the entire state.”
RMC Laboratory Director Gary Ferguson noted that more than 1,754 patients needed a transfusion during 2010, and volunteer blood donors gave 4,315 units of blood to help meet those needs.
A benefit of donating to the BAP is that it can save medical costs for family members and friends. “If a patient requires a blood transfusion in our hospital, family members or friends can donate an equal amount of replacement units of blood in their name, and the patient will not be charged for the cost of the blood,” said Woodward. “If a patient was a previous donor -- lifetime member or donated blood within the past year -- and requires a blood transfusion, the cost of receiving blood is covered.”
Blood for the BAP is collected from community members in three ways:
- at the Blood Donor Center located at the Regional Medical Center,
- on the traveling bloodmobile, and
- at special community events.
For more information about the Blood Assurance Program, call 395-2419.