FALL 2016 | The latest news from Memorial Blood Centers
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Values in Action

  1. "Missing Type" Campaign Removes the As, Bs and Os
  2. Battle of the Badges
  3. Blood Typing at the Minnesota State Fair
  4. MBC Donates Supplies to Global Health Ministries
  5. Longtime Blood Drive Sponsor Recognized for Community Impact




In the News

  1. Update to MSM Guidelines
  2. Zika U.S. Deferral Update
  3. KBJR Duluth Blood Drive

Mission to Save Lives

  1. Ticket Giveaway Winners
  2. Celebrating Ralph, an Astounding Platelet Donor
  3. Volunteer Drivers Needed in the Northland

In the Spotlight

  1. MBC Coordinator Spotlight
  2. Mascot Race
  3. Social Media Buzz Room

"Missing Type" Campaign Removes the As, Bs and Os

MBC staff helped spread awareness during the Missing Type Campaign this August. Many employees inspired questions among friends and family when they changed their profile pictures, email signatures and social media status updates to ones missing the letters A, B and O.
Businesses including 10/11 News, Union Bank, Answers4Families, and Best Buy participated.
The international campaign aims to reverse a trend in the decline of new blood donors. 

Battle of the Badges

During the month of August, teams comprised of more than 400 first responders helped raise awareness of the importance of blood donation by participating in the tenth annual Battle of the Badges competition. For the third year in a row, the Rogers, MN Police and Fire Departments earned the top honor with 74 registered blood donors. Read more about the Battle of the Badges here.

Blood Typing MBC's 60,000th Visitor at the Minnesota State Fair

Erin, the 60,000th visitor to MBC's booth at the MN State FairMemorial Blood Centers’ 16th year at the Minnesota State Fair concluded successfully on Labor Day. This year we saw more than 4,400 fairgoers for blood typing, and surpassed 60,000 State Fair visitors total over our 16 years of attendance! Our 60,000th visitor was a young woman named Erin (pictured at the right). Whether a visitor to our booth was our 60,000th or our 60,001st, everyone was warmly welcomed and treated to a unique experience at the State Fair. Their visit helped inform them of their blood type and about the need for blood in our community as well as how they can help.
It was busy—12 hours a day for 12 days in a row! There was never a time when there wasn’t someone waiting to be blood typed.
Patricia, age 101, gets  blood typed at the MN State FairThanks to all of our great individual volunteer blood typists and ambassadors. Thanks also to the groups of volunteers from Ameriprise, Thomson Reuters and National American University. All of them helped Memorial Blood Centers recruit donors, volunteers and sponsors, create advocates for blood donation and make friends at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Also, thanks to our community partner, KARE 11, for allowing us to work in their nicely cooled KARE 11 Health Fair Building. See you next year!

MBC Donates Supplies to Global Health Ministries

Global Health MinistriesYou might not think much of the two boxes sitting on the floor in this photo—but they are filled with blood collection kits that will be used to help save lives in Ethiopia. Memorial Blood Centers donated 40 blood collection kits to support Global Health Ministries and Aira Hospitals-Ethiopia. Thanks to Scott Lien of Global Health Ministries and Dr. Tariku of Aira Hospitals for touring our facility and teaching us more about the impact they're making overseas. We are honored to help support their missions.

Pictured (L-R): Dr. Tariku and Don Berglund (CEO, Memorial Blood Centers).

Longtime Blood Drive Sponsor Recognized for Community Impact

On September 22 the Mound Westonka community, which has been on MBC’s top 20 sponsors list for the past two years, was presented a Top 20 Award for collecting 317 units of blood during 2015. MBC's Don Berglund, Kathy Geist, Ann Evans and Maggie Schneider took part in the celebration, as well as Mound Westonka Mayor Mark Wegscheid and community blood drive coordinators.

Mound Westonka is the only community-based blood drive that has been among MBC's top 20 sponsors in several years. They have served as a gold standard for community blood drives for more than 20 years, and added a fifth blood drive in 2014 to help us meet our goals during the summer. 

Their seven blood drive coordinators are dedicated to MBC’s mission and are willing to put forth the effort to get as many donors as possible for each drive. They split the responsibilities and call all of their donors to make their appointments. The blood drives rotate through five different locations each year – the American Legion, the Gillespie Center (senior activity center) and three local churches (St. John’s, Mt. Olive, Our Lady of the Lake).

Congratulations and thank you!

Update to MSM Guidelines

By the end of 2016, MBC will implement new MSM (Men who have had Sex with Men) guidelines. These guidelines will change the current indefinite deferral for men who have had sex with men to a 12-month deferral from the potential donor’s last sexual contact with another man. This past summer, Memorial Blood Center’s Dr. Jed Gorlin spoke with KSTP-TV regarding the change. Gorlin is an advocate of a shorter deferral period but added that men who have had sex with men are at an increased risk for transmitting HIV.
"The FDA does not make up rules for no reason. This is an evidence-based rule that increases the safety of the blood supply," he said

Zika U.S. Deferral Update

MBC will begin testing all blood donations for the Zika virus in mid-November. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says testing will help reduce the risk of Zika transmission via blood transfusion. MBC is committed to supporting the safest blood supply and, until updates to the Universal Donor Health Questionnaire are implemented in December, will continue to ask donors to self-defer if they’ve traveled to a Zika risk area.

KBJR Duluth Blood Drive

Thanks to the great work of MBC Donor Recruiter Michele Keil, 56 donors stopped by the KBJR/Northland News Center blood drive in Canal Park, Duluth in June. The news station aired this news segment about the drive, which encouraged donors to step up during the traditionally slow summer months. 

Ticket Giveaway Winners

Our donors are on a mission to save lives and we are happy to reward them. We want to thank all of them for taking the time to donate and help saves lives: 

  • Winners of the MBC Grand Slam Prize package in June, which included four premium Minnesota Twins tickets and a $200 Visa gift card for travel accommodations, were Priscilla Russell and Eric Abbett.
  • Winners of the MBC Home Run Prize June promotion, including one pair of premium Minnesota Twins tickets, were Joseph Cassens, Ross Ruschmeyer, Megan Selden, Chad George, Bryan Hulse, Ginger Heath, Frederick Beel, Jon Anderson, Leah Frye and Gary Spearing.
  • Congratulations to Jamie Kuno who won our Grand Prize package in July, which included a three-night Hyatt stay, airfare and a freshwater fishing excursion.
  • Winners of a $50 DICK'S Sporting Goods gift card were Susan Long, Richard Tavarez, Deanna Bassett, JoAnn Wolf, Gary Peak, Leah Borgren and Graig Kveen.

Celebrating Ralph, an Astounding Platelet Donor

Congratulations to Ralph Douglass at MBC, who hit his 90 gallon donor milestone on September 20! 

Collections staff at the MBC Plymouth Donor Center celebrated Ralph’s milestone with a certificate, pin and treats for donors and staff. Ralph was very grateful and said he keeps coming back because of the staff at the Plymouth Donor Center, the t-shirts and because he heard that his platelets are good for preemies. 

Volunteer Drivers Needed in the Northland

Memorial Blood Centers is looking for volunteers in the Northland to help deliver life-saving blood to hospitals. Volunteers would transport blood from local blood drives to the Duluth Donor Center and from the donor center to local hospitals. Hours vary, so volunteers with schedule restrictions can work around those schedules! For more information, fill out the volunteer application, or contact Community Relations Manager Phil Losacker at philip.losacker@innovativeblood.org.

MBC Coordinator Spotlight

Kris Hofstedt, MBC Coordinator SpotlightKris Hofstedt, Office Support Representative for the City of Plymouth, has been coordinating blood drives twice a year for Word of Peace (Rogers area) since January 2008 and for the City of Plymouth since December of 2010. Kris has struggled with donating in the past (she tends to faint) so in order to still support blood donation, she took over coordinating both blood drives.
Q&A with Kris

Q. Do you know someone who’s received blood?
A. I work with someone at the City of Plymouth whose wife had complications during her pregnancy and their son Sammy was born at 27 weeks. You can read his story on the MBC website

Q. What is your best tip for coordinating a successful blood drive?
A. My best tip for coordinating a successful drive is to start recruiting early (but not too early)! Rogers and the surrounding areas have a fantastic group of blood donors and host several drives throughout the year because of it, and even though MBC does their very best to spread the drives out so that if a person wants to donate at all of them they can. Some people are convinced that they “just gave” when called to see if they want to donate. I have learned to make sure I know all of the previous drive dates so that I can reassure them of the actual date they gave in case they are unsure. I have shared with many of our donors that being a blood drive coordinator is one of the easiest jobs ever. People donate because they know how important it is and in most cases are happy to hear from me inquiring if they are available to donate again. Unless they are sick or going to be on vacation most people say, “Thank you so much for calling me. YES I would LOVE to donate!”

Q. Do you have any tips for recruiting double reds?
A. I always like to have a hard copy of previous donors for each site that shows who the double reds are. I start with them first to make sure they get the top of the hour spots and then work my way down the list. As soon as I know that I have a double red registered I let my donor recruiter know so that they can update Hero Hub to note the person is a double red.

Q. What’s your favorite part about partnering with Memorial Blood Centers?
A. My favorite part about working with MBC is the fact that the staff is SUPER friendly to work with and they are all very helpful. I hate to bother anyone after hours but even after normal hours, if I send a question by email, they still respond. That makes it super easy to keep my donors informed - they may have questions about whether they can donate because of this or that, and I don't want to make them wait until the next business day. Hero Hub has also been a wonderful perk! I am still learning all the things it can do but it is a wonderful tool!

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. Now that I am in my 50s, my hobbies revolve around anything that keeps my body in good shape. I have always known how important it is to keep our bodies healthy but until I hit 50 I didn’t take it too seriously. Jazzercise three to four times a week, walking four miles three to four times a week and bike riding have made me a much healthier and happier person. I also enjoy singing in our church’s women’s choir and volunteering at a local nursing home.

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. My favorite food always was and always will be pizza. 

Q. What’s your favorite place to go in town?
A. My new favorite place to go in town (even though I have only been there one time but love, love, loved it!) is the Shout House Dueling Pianos in Minneapolis, and my favorite place to go out of town (even though you didn’t ask) is to any cabin on a lake (any time of the year).

Q. What is your blood type?
A. My blood type is O positive.

ABO JoeMascot Race

Memorial Blood Centers' ABO Joe mascot was invited to participate in the Minnesota Twins 16th Annual Mascot Softball Game at Target Field on August 14.

The Softball Game occurred before the Twins game vs. the Royals, and ABO Joe performed admirably. Thanks!

Social Media Buzz Room

Here’s a snapshot of what’s been happening on our social media pages. Click on any image to see the live post, and please feel free to share with your social communities!
Donors get a special Vikings wrap ahead of the game
A great review from Facebook
One of MBC's oldest bloodmobiles
Ike celebrates his last day of chemo

Thanks for reading this edition of Circulation! If you want to be featured in the next edition, simply snap a picture and send it along with some details to Marketing. We’re always looking for stories! 

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