GSBS Cares Co-chairs Jennifer Ziegenfuss, left, and Carina Clingman sign up blood donors in the lobby of the LRB.
According to recent news reports, blood drives throughout the region have been cancelled due to the recent series of snowstorms. As a result, blood supplies are low—in some cases dangerously so. Like their fellow students in the School of Medicine, members of GSBS Cares, the student-run community service committee of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, are helping to change that.
Throughout February, GSBS Cares is sponsoring a blood drive to benefit the UMass Memorial Blood Donor Center, located on A level, downstairs from the hospital’s emergency room on the University campus. “We sponsor this blood drive each February in conjunction with Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month,” said GSBS Cares Co-chair Jennifer Ziegenfuss. “Donations go directly to the Blood Donor Center, which means that the blood is immediately accessible.”
Each year, UMass Memorial Medical Center uses approximately 31,000 blood products to help cancer patients, surgery patients, trauma victims and others. According to the center’s supervisor Eileen Galvin Karr, RN, BSN, 4 percent of donors come from the University campus in Worcester. “Often we’ll issue an in-house appeal when our supplies are low, and we generally get a good response,” she said.
Members of the UMMS community who wish to sign up for this blood drive may do so with GSBS Cares volunteers, who will be in the old lobby of the Medical School from noon to 1 p.m. today, Feb. 8, and on Thursday, Feb. 10, and in the lobby of the Lazare Research Building from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. “Interested donors can also go directly to the Blood Donation Center at any time and mention that they’re there supporting the GSBS Cares Blood Drive,” said Ziegenfuss. Donors will receive a free lunch certificate and parking voucher, as well as juice and snacks while donating. Those who donate through the GSBS Cares drive will also receive reusable grocery/tote bags.
For more information about the drive, or other GSBS Cares community service activities, please contact Ziegenfuss or fellow GSBS Cares Co-chair Carina Clingman.
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