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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 07/31/2020 1:57 PM | Anonymous

    On July 30, 2020, President Donald Trump encouraged plasma donations after touring the Dr. Drew Blood Donation Center. Transfusing plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 into a patient still fighting the virus can boost the patient's immune system and help them recover.   Attending the Health Expert Roundtable in the Hall of Service at the American Red Cross were:  

    • President Donald Trump   
    • Red Cross CEO and President Gail McGovern   
    • Secretary of HHS Alex Azar   
    • FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn   
    • Dr. Anthony Fauci   
    • Dr. Francis Collins   
    • Dr. Deborah Birx   
    • Surgeon General Jerome Adams   
    • CEO of America’s Blood Centers Kate Fry   
    • CEO of CSL Limited Paul Perreault   
    • CEO of LabCorp Adam Schechter  

    Watch PBS coverage of the visit

  • 07/28/2020 3:08 PM | Anonymous

    The Census is essential for guaranteeing fair representation and for the proper allocation of federal funding. Schools, hospitals, public services, and much more rely on a complete and accurate count in order to receive the necessary amount of funding. You can play a major role in ensuring your community is getting the resources that it needs. Here’s how:

    Step 1: Respond by going to my2020census.gov. You can choose to take the census in one of 13 different languages.

    Step 2: Enter the 12-digit Census ID listed on the census form you received in the mail. If you have not received a census form in the mail, you will see a link at the bottom of the page that says If you do not have a census ID, click here.

    Step 3: Follow the prompt to the complete questionnaire. You will be asked basic information about the adults, children, and babies that live at your current address. *Include EVERYONE who lives at the listed address, not only family members*

    Step 4: Confirm that all the information you provided is correct. Press SUBMIT.

    The Census Bureau is collecting your information securely, and your answers are completely confidential.

    To respond online please click HERE.

    To respond via telephone, please click HERE.

     Door-to-door census enumeration will begin on July 29th for those who still have not completed the Census online, over the phone, or by mail.

  • 07/23/2020 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    The need for blood to save patient lives continues, even in a pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, thousands of Red Cross blood drives have been canceled as community organizations and businesses restrict access to many locations. The Red Cross needs the help of blood donors and blood drive hosts to ensure a stable blood supply throughout this crisis. This summer, help restock the shelves by giving whole blood or platelets to help patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.

    Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions—including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff—have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

    Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.  


  • 07/21/2020 12:52 PM | Anonymous

    The free, downloadable e-book answers all sorts of questions about covid-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.  The Q&A format, contains a section for children and a more in depth portion for adults.   It also has a long list of resources to help those who want to know more about antibody testing or the effectiveness of gloves.

    The guide is  written by William Haseltine, a medical researcher and public health veteran, known for his work in HIV/AIDS, cancer and genomics.  While Haseltine acknowledges he doesn't have all the answers, he is committed to regularly updating the book as new information becomes available.

    "A Family Guide to Covid" can be read or printed on demand at  accessh.org/covidfamilyguide. It’s also available on Kindle at Amazon

  • 07/07/2020 2:57 PM | Anonymous

    Hot weather can be dangerous for our pets. The American Red Cross offers these tips you can follow to help keep your pets safe when the temperatures rise:

    1. Don’t leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes even with the windows open.
    2. Animals can suffer heat stroke, a common problem for pets in the warmer weather, especially dogs with short noses, heavy fur coats, respiratory problems, or who are overweight.
    3. Some of the signs of heat stroke in your pet are:
      • Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down;
      • Brick red gum color;
      • Fast pulse rate; and
      • He or she is unable to get up.
    4. If you suspect your pet has heat stroke, take their temperature rectally.
      • If the temperature is above 105 degrees, cool the animal down. The easiest way to do this is by using the water hose. Stop cooling the animal when the temperature reaches 103 degrees.
      •  Bring your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible as heat stroke can lead to severe organ dysfunction and damage.
    Pet owners can download the free Red Cross Pet First Aid app for step-by-step instructions for first aid emergencies, a pet profile for storing tag ID, photo and medical information, early warning signs for when to contact a veterinarian and an animal hospital locator. redcross.org/apps.

    You can also take the Red Cross Cat and Dog First Aid online. 

    Read more about pet safety from Red Cross


  • 06/30/2020 11:17 AM | Anonymous

    ARCRA is phasing out its toll-free number on June 30, 2020.  The new number is 202-303-7184.  Only the phone number has changed, the Retiree Connection support stays the same. 

    The Red Cross Benefit Service Center at 1-877-860-7526 can answer questions about pension, benefits and your Red Cross tenure.  However, sometimes retirees like to talk about things before they call the Service Center or are confused after talking to the Benefit Service Center.  The volunteers at the Retiree Connection are there to help.  They can even join you on your call with the Benefits Service Center if you think that would be helpful.  The volunteers, all ARCRA members, can also help identify community resource or lend an ear to talk about Red Cross.

    If you need help, call the Retiree Connection at 202-303-7184.  Leave a message-name, city, state, phone number, and email address if you have it, and summary of your issue or help that you need.  An ARCRA volunteer will call you back, generally within 24 hours.


  • 06/30/2020 11:16 AM | Anonymous

    On June 15, the Red Cross began testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID_19 antibodies and will continue testing for the next few months.  Testing for COVID-19 antibodies will provide donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to coronavirus.  The antibody test is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration using samples obtained at the time of donation and sent to a testing laboratory.  A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity.  This is not a diagnostic test and donors who do not feel well should postpone their donation.

    Read more here.


  • 06/30/2020 10:17 AM | Anonymous

    There continues for be an urgent need for blood donations to meet the needs of patients in hospitals as surgical procedures and treatments that were temporarily paused this spring in response to COVID-19 resume. At the same time, blood drives continue to be canceled, as many businesses and community organizations restrict the number of individuals at their locations.

    Please set up a donation appointment and encourage family and friends to donate. Visit Red Cross Blood.org, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, call 1-800-Red Cross or activate the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.


  • 06/05/2020 12:00 PM | Anonymous

    This resource was listed in the May eNewsletter but the link was broken.

    Being prepared is a key principle of the American Red Cross. We believe it is so important to plan and get one’s financial affairs in order that we have partnered with FreeWill.com/redcross so that you can create your will online – entirely for free.

    FreeWill is a secure, online tool that will take you through the will preparation process step by step.

    If you have a simple estate, you can print your legal will to be signed and witnessed. If you have a more complex estate, the same tools will help you document your wishes and help find a qualified attorney near you to finalize your plans. 

    Your will is one of the most personal and important financial documents in your life. Without a legitimate will, the government — not you — will decide how your affairs and assets are handled. 

    FreeWill.com/redcross  create your will online – entirely for free.

     

    Create Your Free Will Today


  • 05/28/2020 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, May 23, CBS This Morning  featured the experimental procedure that transfers blood plasma from a coronavirus survivor into the bloodstream of a patient still battling the disease is among the most promising treatments amid the pandemic. Its creation is credited to one man, Charles Drew. Drew was inspired to go into medicine after the devastating Spanish Flu pandemic took the life of his sister. Michelle Miller looks at Drew's life and accomplishments, and speaks to his daughter, Charlene Drew Jarvis, about his legacy.

    Click here to watch the program.

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