Read the latest news with Nebraska Community Blood Bank
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In this edition...

Values in Action

  1. New Fletcher Donor Center Welcomes Donors
  2. #1 and #2 in Customer Satisfaction!
  3. It's Mosquito Season!

Mission to Save Lives

  1. Broadcasters Unite for Life
  2. Summer BBQ

In the News

  1. Stock the Shelves and Save Lives
  2. NCBB and Polaris Teamed up to Save Lives
  3. Give to Lincoln Day a Success!
  4. National Gay Blood Drive

In the Spotlight

  1. Happy and Healthy Because of Blood Donors!
  2. Coordinator Spotlight

New Fletcher Donor Center Welcomes Donors

The hustle and bustle that came with relocating Nebraska Community Blood Bank's (NCBB) north Lincoln donor center has settled down. Months of teamwork went into the July 1 opening of the new 4900 North 26th Street location.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony, on July 11, brought together members of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, NCBB staff, and the community to celebrate the new donor center. Members of the Innovative Blood Resources' Board of Directors, NCBB Advisory Board, and NCBB leadership team were also on hand to share in the excitement of the event. After NCBB president Ellen DiSalvo did the honors of cutting the ribbon, everyone gathered in the donor center for cupcakes and refreshments.

#1 and #2 in Customer Satisfaction!

Memorial Blood Centers (MBC) and Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB), divisions of Innovative Blood Resources, rank #1 and #2—out of a field of eight national blood banks—in an annual customer satisfaction survey conducted by Instant Evaluate from May 2013 through June 2014.

“The collections staff is truly amazing! The service they provide is commendable and they are truly striving to make Innovative Blood Resources (IBR) the best blood center in America,” said Larrie Pittelko, MBC Metro Donor Centers Manager. “I am so proud of everyone at both MBC and NCBB.They work hard every day and our donors see that!”
On a five-point scale, as measured by Instant Evaluate, MBC achieved a 4.90 rating on customer satisfaction. NCBB received a 4.86—a mere .04 separating our two first-class divisions and proving again how collections staff strives every day to provide an excellent experience for donors by practicing our core values of Respect, Integrity, Synergy, Excellence, and Service.
"Best needle insertion I’ve ever experienced."
"Angie made me an awesome ninja turtle for my wrap! I think it’s small instances like that where employees go above and beyond the standard experience, making it extra fun and enjoyable for donors."
"Everyone I come in contact with is friendly, even if they aren’t responsible for me and my donation."
These are just some of the powerful words from donors that describe their exceptional experience. According to Kris Belanger, Vice President, Donor Services, “Sometimes donors also call in and say they didn’t feel the needle. But that’s just a testament to the great needle skills and soft skills our staff has. They are able to distract donors, getting them to focus on something else during the needle insertion. Because in reality, there’s no way you don’t feel a needle going into your arm!”
After every donation, donors are encouraged to provide feedback about their experience. We regularly track donor feedback to learn how to improve the donor experience.

Blood donor Melissa McDonnell with NCBB Collections Technician, Seth Alnwick

It’s Mosquito Season!

This is the time of year that West Nile Virus (WNV) is especially prevalent as infected mosquitoes spread the virus. Last year, 226 cases of WNV were reported in Nebraska. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 80 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus don’t develop symptoms.
WNV is one of the tests that Innovative Blood Resources' donor testing lab runs on every blood donation to ensure a safe blood supply. Any donated blood that tests positive for WNV will be discarded and the donor will be contacted.

There are some preventative measures you can take to keep those pesky mosquitoes from biting and decrease your chances of being infected:
  • reduce the sources of standing water around your home
  • cover up your toes, legs, arms, and torso
  • limit your time outdoors at dawn and dusk
  • apply insect repellent to exposed skin and your clothes

Broadcasters Unite for Life

NCBB's Broadcasters Unite for Life Blood Drive, held July 2 at Channel 10/11 television station, brought multiple companies together to raise awareness about lower-than-average blood donations that can come with summer months. Channel 10/11 and local radio station KFRX teamed up to get the word out, and local Nitroburger brought their “food bus” out to offer free burgers and fries to everyone who presented to donate.
49 donors registered and 46 units of blood were collected—including 10 donations from first-time donors. All eligible donors received a Fishing for Donors t-shirt, were entered for a chance to win a Polaris ATV, and received a free lunch. In addition to wanting to be part of NCBB’s life-saving mission, many donors said they were excited to try a Nitroburger. 

The drive was a success and huge credit can be given to the multiple television and radio interviews that helped get the message out about the importance of blood donation.
Top: 10/11 news anchor Torin Otis donates during the Broadcasters Unite for Life Blood Drive; Bottom left: Members of Three Eagles Communications rolled up their sleeves to donate; Bottom right: Nitroburger ready to serve hungry donors

Summer BBQ 

Delicious food and friendly faces filled the lawn at 84th and O as NCBB staff enjoyed a summer BBQ. The BBQ offered a great informal setting for NCBB employees to mingle with colleagues and the Senior Leadership Team.
Left: NCBB employees Jessica Richards, Cheryl Warholoski, and Richard Smith; Right: NCBB employees Seth Alnwick and Gina Critchley
Over 2 tons of food collected for Food Bank of Lincoln

Stock the Shelves and Save Lives

NCBB, in collaboration with Russ’s Market, worked to keep the shelves stocked at the Food Bank of Lincoln this summer. During the Pints for Pounds campaign, which ran June 4-24, for every blood donation made with NCBB, Russ’s Market donated a pound of food to the food bank.
2,352 blood donations were collected.  In addition, NCBB staff and blood donors contributed 1,123 pounds of food and $162 (the equivalent of 972 pounds of food). In total, over two tons of food was given to the Food Bank of Lincoln.
NCBB staff really stepped up to the plate to collect food to donate. Throughout the organization there were eight teams, comprised of 40 employees. The goal was to collect the most pounds of food, with extra points given for significant need items. The winning team was comprised of Gail Jackson, Chris Pape, Pam Chandler, Kelly Jensen, and Ellen DiSalvo. Along with monetary donations, this team alone donated 530 pounds of food to the Food Bank of Lincoln!

NCBB and Polaris Teamed up to Save Lives

Polaris Industries Inc. generously contributed an ATV to help us promote the need for blood in the summer months. Volunteers who stepped up to give during the month of July were eligible to win the Polaris ATV. A winner was randomly selected and will be published in the next issue of Circulation.

Special promotions, like the ATV from Polaris, encourage eligible blood donors to make a special effort to donate during the summer months. And this summer the need was especially great as we had several critical and urgent appeals. Thankfully, donors answered our call and stepped up to give blood to help save lives in our communities.

Give to Lincoln Day a Success!

A BIG thank you to all who gave to NCBB during this year’s Give to Lincoln Day on May 29.
This was the second year NCBB participated in this 24-hour online giving event that offers the community an opportunity to show their collective appreciation to local non-profit organizations.  And financial supporters contributed 9 times more this year than last—thank you!
Local NGBD organizer, Michael Bomberger, being interviewed by channel 10/11

National Gay Blood Drive

On July 11, NCBB’s 84th and O location participated in the second annual National Gay Blood Drive, and received coverage from Lincoln and Omaha media.

NCBB maintains strict compliance with all U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates for a safe blood supply. We also recognize the need to consistently apply scientifically based deferral policies for all prospective blood donors.

The July event included 7 people who donated on behalf of an ineligible donor, or in support of amending the current FDA restriction that bans blood donations by men who have had sex with men. The restriction has been in place since 1983.

Happy and Healthy Because of Blood Donors!

Little Caleb Nord is living because the right type of blood was available when he needed it. Diagnosed with a rare, one-in-a-million disorder when he was 19 months old, doctors said Caleb’s only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant. While he waited for the right match, he depended on red blood cells and platelets to sustain him.
“We had no idea how many people need blood every day—not just when a disaster hits," said Caleb’s mother, Ann Nord. "Seeing an infusion room filled with 10 children and adults, all getting blood products of some type, and seeing more waiting for a chair to open up! It was a real eye opener for us."
Every year the Nord Family hosts a blood and marrow donor registry drive to celebrate Caleb’s Re-Birthday. “We give back to show our appreciation to the countless blood donors and Caleb’s marrow donor who helped save his life. Because of them he is happy and healthy again today,” Ann said.

Little Caleb is one of the many lives saved by blood donors who roll up their sleeves. Read Caleb’s full story and see who else is living today because blood donors gave the gift of life.

Coordinator Spotlight

“Southeast Community College-Milford and Milford Kiwanis partner to host quarterly blood drives and typically collect over 350 units each year. We have partnered with both organizations for over 10 years and have built a strong presence in the Milford community. They are both great organizations to work with and truly understand and support the mission of the Nebraska Community Blood Bank."
– Jami Kassebaum, Donor Recruitment Representative

Q & A with Stacey Harrifeld from Southeast Community College-Milford and Larry Lindquist with Milford Kiwanis Club

Q. How long have you coordinated blood drives with Nebraska Community Blood Bank?
A. Stacey – I’ve been coordinating drives for 10 years.
A. Larry – I’ve been coordinating drives for over 15 years.

Q. Why did you start coordinating blood drives?
A. Larry – Kiwanis Club of Milford first began coordinating drives as part of a challenge group–it was a friendly competition formed by area Kiwanis Clubs to see who could collect the most blood donations per year and we’ve continuing donating ever since.

Q. How often do you host blood drives?
A. Stacey – We partner with Larry and the Kiwanis Club of Milford to host drives four times a year at Southeast Community College – Milford.

Q. What is your best tip for coordinating a successful blood drive?
A. Stacey – Provide donors with food. They love it!
A. Larry – I have a group of five volunteers who phone perspective donors.

Q. What’s your favorite part about partnering with Nebraska Community Blood Bank?
A. Stacey – Getting to work with the people.  I have a great coordinator and the blood drive staff has always been good to work with.
A. Larry – I enjoy working with the staff and appreciate their willingness to help.

Q. Do you have any hobbies?
A. Stacey – I like being outdoors and spending time with my family.
A. Larry – I enjoy golfing and traveling.

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. Stacey – Taco salad
A. Larry – Steak

Q. What’s your favorite place to go in town?
A. Stacey – Going to Husker games!
A. Larry – The many eating establishments.

Q. What is your blood type?
A. Stacey – I am A+.
A. Larry – I am A+
If you would like more information on the stories presented or have suggestions for articles, please contact our marketing department.
Copyright ©2014 Nebraska Community Blood Bank, All rights reserved.

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