Looking forward to Summer
by ARCRA President Jim Hamilton
Updated June 12, 2021
After a more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s really great to hear about optimism and an upcoming return to normal! As I write this, the CDC is announcing reduced need for isolation/masks for those who have been vaccinated. I received my vaccinations in March, and just recently went to a dinner at a restaurant for the first time in over a year. It’s amazing how something as simple as going out to dinner with my wife became such a missed event. Hopefully, everyone is still safe and healthy, and that you will soon be able to safely do those simple things that we have grown to miss so much.
Even though COVID-19 has kept us all a bit isolated, your ARCRA board has been busy. We recently held our annual meeting with Red Cross senior leadership via a Zoom video conference. We started off the meeting with Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. She took us through some of the big challenges that the Red Cross has been facing during the pandemic. Some of the highlights included Red Cross responses to one of the most significant disaster seasons in recent history, new protocols for disaster response during a pandemic, new approaches to blood drives due to the pandemic, a new climate-change initiative and a successfully fundraising season despite the challenges of a changing economy.
We also met with Melissa Hurst, Chief Human Resources Officer, and her team, who continue to work closely with ARCRA on a multitude of issues that affect retirees. And finally Brian Rhoa, Chief Financial Officer, gave us a very good update on Red Cross (and its pension system) financial health. Look to your monthly e-Newsletters and this website for more in-depth information from our discussions.
And finally, we are looking forward to continuing our series of webinars. The last ARCRA webinar Brain Health-Proven Ways to Keep Your Brain Healthy was June 10. BRAIN HEALTH was presented in partnership with AARP. The program was led by Sarah Lenz Lock, AARP Senior Vice President of Policy and Brain Health, and Executive Director, AARP Global Council on Brain Health.(GCBH), an independent collaborative of scientists, doctors, scholars, and policy experts who provide trusted information on adult brain health. Sarah shared ways and resources to keep your brain healthy. She also encouraged ARCRA members to take advantage of June-Brain Health Month and AARP's free Brain Assessment during June for AARP members. https://stayingsharp.aarp.org/about/brain-health/assessment-free-june/
Click here for login information on this and other ARCRA webinars.
I wish you all the very best and hope you have a wonderful summer!