Sixtieth Anniversary: Look to our Past, Plan for our Future
This year the MABB celebrates 60 remarkable years as a state wide Blood Bank organization. It is truly amazing when you consider that the MABB organized a mere 17 years after the formation of the first blood bank in Chicago. I believe this is an attestation to the dedication and commitment that blood bankers in this region have exhibited since the beginning and will continue to evolve into the future. We have been extremely privileged over the years to have so many outstanding nationally recognized members who contributed to our organization and the blood banking community at large. Now is the time to look to our past for inspiration but more importantly to plan for the future. It is essential that we determine what motivates, energizes and meets the needs of our new generation of blood bankers to whom we hand off our legacy.
Let us make the 2014 a time for renewal and recommitment. I want to express my sincere appreciation to all of the members who have supported the MABB in the past. Now, we truly need to look towards the future. I implore each of you to reach out beyond your comfort zone. Invite at least one of your co-workers to consider participation in the MABB organization. There are many opportunities to support the MABB depending upon the amount of time you have available along with your level of interest and commitment. You can participate as a member; join a committee; lecture or share some piece of knowledge; submit interesting case studies; submit an article for the newsletter; or participate as a board member.
The mission of the Michigan Association of Blood Banks is to promote the highest standard of care for patients and donors in all aspects of blood banking by making available affordable educational opportunities for professionals in the field. As Sharon Cisco so aptly stated in 2001, if we want Blood Banking to remain a profession- not just a job, we must embrace the goal and ambition of lifelong learning. I believe her message is still pertinent today. The challenging economy and changes in healthcare reimbursement have altered or eliminated the way our employers support funding for travel and continuing education. We cannot remain stagnant, so how shall we proceed?
Unfortunately, I have many more questions than I do answers and I look to you for suggestions. How do we continue to promote the best transfusion medicine practices? What is the most suitable way to share up to date information with blood bankers throughout the state? Is social networking a better way to reach out to our Michigan Blood Bank community? Are on-line meetings and webinars a more effective means of offering continuing education opportunities?
We need YOU!! We need your feedback, your ideas, as well as your participation. Ask your coworkers how MABB can best meet their professional needs as well the best way to deliver upon those needs.
Past: Summary of the 2013 Annual Meeting
The 2013 Annual Meeting was well attended and received excellent reviews. Our Kay Beattie Award recipient, Dr. Greg Denomme, gave us a glimpse into our future as we continue to explore blood group antigen expression by using red cell molecular genotyping to acquire more in-depth understanding of red cell antigens and the antibodies that develop against them. Evaluation of the clinical significance of alloantibodies was presented by Ann Steiner. Clinical and serologic case studies revealed some difficult and complex cases that can appear in our blood banks when we least expect them. Transfusion of patients with sickle cell disease has remained a challenge for blood bankers. Dr. Wanda Shurney gave us insight into the complexities of the disease as well as best transfusion practices for this patient population. Guidance on transfusion practices for bone marrow transplant patients was discussed by Louann Dake. Controversies in out-of-group platelet transfusion and management of the sensitized patient were presented by Dr. Laura Cooling and Dr. Mary Smith. Practical and proven approaches to reduce the risk of transfusion errors were shared by Suzanne Butch. Challenges in inventory and patient blood management from both the donor center perspective, by Diane Ward, and the hospital perspective, by Dr. Peter Millward, were introduced. Practical quality assurance tips on auditing, blood storage cooler validation and insight on the management of return and re-issue of blood products were discussed by Terry Downs, Debbie Donzilla and Jennifer Sarhan.
The MABB Annual meeting was possible through the support of our vendors including American Red Cross SE MI Region, Immucor Gamma, Michigan Blood, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, Alexion, American Red Cross National Testing Lab, Bio-Rad, CLS Behring, Helmer Scientific, Fenwal, and Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics.
I would like to give special thanks to Michigan Blood for their continuing sponsorship of the Kay Beattie award. The 2013 annual meeting breakfast was jointly sponsored by American Red Cross SE MI Region and Immucor. Physician CME and P.A.C.E credits were available thanks to Dr. Sherwin Imlay, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland, and Suzanne Butch. Linda Cardine continues her dedicated support as the MABB Office Manager. The MABB website remains intact through the expertise of our MABB Webmaster, Bethany Neldrett.
Kudos to Dr. Barbara O’Malley and the Education Committee for bringing back the very popular Spring Wet Workshop at Michigan State University. Thank you to Dr. John Gerlach and Ellen Rzepka for allowing us to use the facilities at MSU, Kathy Shortridge along with her Immucor team and Ann Steiner with her Ortho team helped make this successful wet workshop a reality.
Future: 2014 Annual Meeting
Please join us at the 2014 Annual Meeting on September 10th and 11th and help celebrate our 60th Anniversary. The annual meeting committee, chaired by Dr. Barry Siegfried, organized what promises to be another excellent meeting with opportunities to learn, discuss new trends and network with experts in the field and your colleagues.
We will host a Wine and Cheese Anniversary Celebration, Wednesday from 4:30-6 p.m.
Judy Easter, MT(ASCP)SBB
President, Michigan Association of Blood Banks