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Advocacy

Scientific, Medical, Technical, Quality, and Regulatory

America's Blood Centers continued to participate in various Interorganizational Task Forces such as Disaster Preparedness, AABB Committees, the Pharma Conferences Organizing Committee, the FDA Blood Product Advisory Committee, the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, the European Blood Alliance Emerging Infectious Diseases Monitor, and ISBT's Working Party on Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases.

We supported an improved written statement of understanding for blood donors along content guidelines proposed by FDA, while identifying opportunities to maintain a safe and adequate supply of donated blood during a severe emergency. Additionally, staff advocated for modification of malaria deferrals and sought alternative, less burdensome statistical plans for product quality control of cellular products on behalf of our member blood centers.

America's Blood Centers played a leadership role to the FDA to allow labeling of units with historical Red Blood Cell antigens other than ABO/Rh participating in a working group to develop an agreed upon standardized methodology on the use of historical antigens.  The work was completed and turned over to the FDA in less than a year.  We participated in a working group looking at Quarantine Release Errors, which drafted a white paper. 

Staff identified, distributed, and reviewed nine draft/final regulatory documents and submitted comments as appropriate on subjects such as hepatitis B virus nucleic acid testing, Full-Length and Abbreviated Donor History Questionnaires for Source Plasma, ISBT 128 Labeling Requirements for Blood and Blood Components, Leukoreduction, Malaria, Syphilis Testing, and Medical Device Data Systems.

The SMT staff continued to provide support to numerous individual members on regulatory, quality, technical and medical issues; serving as the interface with FDA when appropriate.

World Blood Donor Day

America's Blood Centers and our member blood centers celebrated World Blood Donor Day (June 14) with the 4th Annual Nexcare give promotion. With this year's promotion of World Blood Donor Day, Nexcare and community blood centers across the country joined together to recognize and thank donors, while also encouraging others to join the cause. Through this partnership, participating blood centers received a supply of "giving blood is timeless" bandages, which were inspired by designs reminiscent of historically stylish decades from our past. Additionally, extensive media outreach was done on behalf of both America's Blood Centers and its member blood centers to garner media attention in print, online, and broadcast news outlets both at the local and national level resulting in more than 59 million media impressions, 500,000 Nexcare give bandages distributed nationwide by members of America's Blood Centers, and more than 51,000 new "likes" were earned on the Nexcare give Facebook page with over 33,000 "pledges" to support blood donation.

Media Relations

America's Blood Centers distributed five press releases during the year. Staff and spokespersons conducted numerous interviews, while assisting the following print, online, broadcast media outlets and government organizations:

These articles covered a variety of topics including:

My Blood, Your Blood

The My Blood, Your Blood program has had a successful market presence within the industry for over 10 years. However, due to the changing dynamics within the classroom and new and ever-developing technology, there was a need to make the program more easily accessible and useful. Therefore, with assistance from a grant from the Foundation for America's Blood Centers, America's Blood Centers broke the program down into short video clips now accessible to the general public through our YouTube channel. Click here for the My Blood, Your Blood videos and associated resources.

National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge

America's Blood Centers partnered with the Migrant Students Foundation for their 5th annual National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge. The nationwide campaign, set to encourage students - especially of Hispanic/Latino descent - to promote health education, health and science careers, and saving lives, achieved overwhelming success once again with over 21,300 donors registered and over 17,600 total units collected. Of those donors, over 6,500 were of Hispanic/Latino descent (about 38 percent of collections) and about 6,400 (about 36 percent) were first time donors.*

*Numbers shared represent about 80 percent of the total blood drives held, as the Migrant Students Foundation is still working on obtaining collection numbers from some participating locations.

National Blood Donor Month

National Blood Donor Month (January) is an annual celebration to thank blood donors, while increasing awareness of the need for blood.  America's Blood Centers teamed up with singer/songwriter Jenni Alpert to celebrate National Blood Donor Month with "Listen to Your Heart - Donate Blood." Through this partnership, Jenni is provided America's Blood Centers' member blood centers and their blood donors nationwide access to a free download of her new hit song "Listen to Your Heart."

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