The Ross Medical Education Center campus in Morgantown, West Virginia gave the perfect gift just after this busy holiday season by hosting the American Red Cross for a blood drive in early January. Morgantown students, staff, and members of the local community helped to make this drive the most successful one Morgantown has ever hosted! Having hosted four blood drives since the campus opened, collections for the January drive increased by 30% since the previous drive in early 2015, and 50% since the first one in 2012.
The American Red Cross provides a variety of services to many communities across the country. Some of the things they provide include shelter, food, and emotional support to victims of disasters. In addition, they are able to supply nearly half of the nation’s blood donations. They also work hard to help citizens develop skills that are able to save lives, fund and staff international humanitarian aid efforts, and support military members and their families. Although Ross was willing to help in many of the areas needed, there was one that stuck out to them.
When Evan Thorn, a local American Red Cross blood drive organizer, told the campus that the holidays can be a difficult time to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs, the students and staff quickly offered to host the organization. “We are very proud of our students,” said Dorie Alger, Campus Director. “They did not hesitate to volunteer.” For many, it was their first time. Rama Venkataramen, Clinical Instructor for the Medical Assistant program in Morgantown, encouraged students to ask questions of the Red Cross staff so that the experience would also be a teachable moment. “We just learned about infection control during module one,” said Susan Weimer, current Medical Assistant student. “So, the timing couldn’t have been better.”
As a special thank you, those who came out to donate blood or platelets received a free long-sleeved Red Cross t-shirt and a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card courtesy of the American Red Cross! Two additional blood drives are scheduled for Summer 2017. “The back to back drives encourage donors from the first event to register and give at the second,” said Thorn. Ross was thankful to have been able to be a part of ensuring that blood was in ample supply for those in need.