This year the Michigan Association of Blood Banks (MABB) celebrates 63 remarkable years as a state wide professional organization. We have withstood the test of time only because of the dedication and commitment to deliver cutting edge, evidence-based medicine to our family, friends, and community members that we serve every day. Our association has been comprised of top notch front line generalist technologists, specialists in blood banking, nurses, and physicians; many of whom have been nationally recognized for the discoveries they have made and work that they do every day, just like Suzanne Butch, our 2017 Kay Beattie award winner. I want to express sincere thanks and gratitude to all of the members who have supported the MABB in the past; we would not be who we are today without your dedication and devotion.
But now I turn to the new faces of the workforce and those of you who have been sitting on the sidelines. We need you! You are the future of this organization and it can continue to be an exemplary organization with your contribution. I have had a number of you ask me, "What's in it for me?" I put a lot of thought into this question and can tell you that you will become an important part of a professional team. You become a member of a large blood banking community with which you can discuss problems and troubleshoot. You will be offered opportunities to grow as a professional. It will beef up your resume if you ever look at changing positions. Job opportunities become more readily available to you, sometimes even before they are posted. You get discounts when you attend other MABB educational activities. For those of you who require CEUs, you earn 2 credits per year for serving on a committee or becoming a board member. You will enhance your professional network. I recently attended a lecture on networking and the bottom line of the message was: "It's not what or who you know; rather it is who knows you!"
The mission of the MABB 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.
It is essential that we continue to evolve and grow as a profession. To do that, we need each and every one of you to get involved! Determine what motivates, energizes, and meets the needs of our upcoming generation of blood bankers to keep them engaged and connected! In the words of Judy Easter, our 2017 Founders Award recipient: "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, share a story or interesting case study, submit an article for the newsletter, be part of a discussion panel, or participate as a board member. Please consider our future when you consider yours!
Brigitte M. Becker, MT (ASCP) SBBcm
2017 President of the Michigan Association of Blood Banks