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News of interest to ARCRA members

  • 08/02/2021 5:20 PM | Anonymous

    On Friday, July 30th an important safety update was communicated: Red Cross to Resume Mask-Wearing as Pandemic Safety Protocols Continue to Evolve. The American Red Cross has determined that all individuals – both vaccinated and unvaccinated will wear masks indoors in public areas across the country.

    • Effective Monday, August 2, Red Cross will require all employees, volunteers, shelter residents and class participants to wear a face mask at Red Cross offices, facilities and any indoor operations while engaging in services on behalf of the Red Cross. Red Cross also strongly encourage all blood donors to wear masks, and will make them available at blood drives wherever possible. 
    • By August 9th, Red Cross believes that it will have communicated its updated masking policy to blood donors and blood drive hosts, and have a sufficient quantity of masks available, to require all blood donors to wear a mask while minimizing potentially challenging conversations between blood donors and staff members. 

  • 07/30/2021 12:38 PM | Anonymous

    The mission of Honor Flight is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country.  Flights had been canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic but are scheduled to resume on August 19 bringing veterans from the Columbus Ohio area to Washington, DC.  

    The Honor Flight Network is a national network of independent Hubs working together to show our nation’s veterans the appreciation and honor they deserve. Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the opportunity to share this momentous occasion with other comrades, to remember friends and comrades lost, and share their stories and experiences with other veterans. All honored veterans travel at no cost to the veteran.

    ​The Honor Flight Network is currently serving veterans from the WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras and terminally ill veterans serving during any era.  It was formed in 2005 by Jeff Miller and Earl Morse.

    While originally focused on honoring our nation’s World War II veterans, the Honor Flight Network now also honors those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, intermediary operations, and in special cases of terminal illness or injury, veterans from more recent service eras. Since its formation in 2005, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 240,000 veterans to Washington D.C.  Today, the Honor Flight Network is currently comprised of over 125 hubs throughout the country dedicated to carrying out the Honor Flight mission and the Network, as a whole, serves over 22,000 veterans each year. 

    If you are a Veteran and would like to experience an Honor Flight at no cost to you or if you know of someone who is a World War II, Korean War or Vietnam War veteran or a veteran with a terminal illness, please fill out an application and send it in on their behalf. And remember, every veteran flies free.

    To contact your local Honor Flight hub directly, please use this contact information.

    For further information, please contact Honor Flight National at 937-521-2400 or via email at applications@honorflight.org.

  • 07/15/2021 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    Many experts predict parts of the country will see warmer than usual weather over the next few months and proof of that may be the prolonged heat wave out west. Extreme heat is dangerous for us, as well as for your family pets. The American Red Cross has steps to take to help ensure your pet stays safe this summer:

    • Never leave your pet in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees even with the windows cracked open.
    • Limit exercise on hot days. Exercise in the early morning or evening hours.
    • Walk your pet in the grass if possible, to avoid hot surfaces burning their paws.
    • If your pet is outside, make sure they have access to shade and plenty of cool water.
    • Water safety is important for your furry friends. Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—they aren’t all good swimmers
    • Watch your pets at a backyard barbecue. Keep them away from the grill and know that some food can be poisonous to them. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with artificial sweeteners.
    • Heat stroke is a common problem for pets in the warmer weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the boxer or bulldog, are especially prone to heat stroke, along with overweight pets, those with extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea. 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
      • Unable to get up

    Read more about summer pet safety at Red Cross.org

  • 07/15/2021 10:10 AM | Anonymous

    In case you missed it, here is the link to the June 10th ARCRA Webinar on Brain Heath presented in partnership with AARP. It featured Sarah Lenz Lock AARP Senior Vice President of Policy and Brain Health and Executive Director of AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health (see bio below).  The program was a conversational interview format, moderated by David Therkelsen, ARCRA Past President, and former CEO of the St. Paul chapter and interim CEO of the North Central Blood Services Region.

    Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/15yaMXsH_XSrQtXKUp1hl94nJQAhM6Wnt/view?usp=sharing

    Sarah talked about the Six Pillars of Brain Health https://stayingsharp.aarp.org/about/brain-health/the-science/ to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.  They are easily remembered through the acronym BE MORE:

    • Be Social
    • Engage your Brain
    • Manage Stress
    • Ongoing Exercise-150 minutes per week
    • Restorative Sleep-7 to 8 hours per day
    • Eat Right

    Sarah encouraged us to take advantage of a unique offer from AARP during June, Brain Health Awareness Month.  Take the AARP Staying Sharp Brain Health Assessment for free (normally $14.00).  The free assessment is a limited-time offer good from June 1-June 30, 2021 for AARP members https://stayingsharp.aarp.org/about/brain-health/assessment-free-june/.  The Brain Assessment will provide a personalized plan on how you can maintain your brain health.

    Access Staying Sharp, https://stayingsharp.aarp.org/ a brain health program that offers a holistic, life-style based approach to brain health based on science.  The site provides self-paced activities and presents lifestyle choices that can be added to your daily routine.  You can access:

    • Brain Health Challenges-practical, daily skills
    • Information on lifestyle habits that help or hinder brain health
    • Activities that you can easily add to your daily routine
    • Recipes with ingredients that nourish mind and body
    • Games that are challenging and fun

    Staying Sharp provides evidence-based strategies of what works, focusing on lifestyle interventions not pharmaceuticals.  Some of us on the webinar were hopeful maintaining brain health was as simple as increasing the daily number of Crossword and Sudoku puzzles we mastered. While taking on more difficult versions can be challenging and personally satisfying, we were disappointed to hear they will not maintain cognitive function. On the other hand, participating in a challenge that involves social interaction like Words Games with Friends or Scrabble, can help to build up our cognitive reserve.

    Music is also incredibly powerful in stimulating the brain https://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/global-council-on-brain-health/music/ .  We all enjoy listening to music we know from “our generation” because it can provide comfort, calm, and reduce stress. However, to stimulate you brain, challenge it to listen to new and different styles of music...Hip-hop anyone?

    The social isolation related to COVID-19 protocols have negatively impacted our brain  and physical health  https://www.aarp.org/health/brain-health/global-council-on-brain-health/covid/.   Many of us lost our social interactions, like visits with friends and grandchildren, travel, and our regular routine of attending religious services, weekly bridge games, volunteering, and family and community events and celebrations.  Others put off needed medical visits or treatments and now face more severe and threatening health issues as a result.

    Sarah also referenced the wealth of Brain Health research and resources found online at AARP to help each of us maintain and improve our Brain Health as we age.   Check out these resources on Brain Health:  

  • 06/30/2021 10:14 AM | Anonymous

    The dangerous heat wave will continue in the West for the rest of the week and in the Northeast. The American Red Cross is working with local officials to open and support shelters and cooling centers for people affected by the record-breaking high temperatures in the West and in the Northeast. 

    It’s urgent that people take steps to stay safe during the excessive heat. High temperatures and humidity claim the lives of more than 600 people in this country every year. Those more at risk include adults age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, people who work outside, infants, children and athletes. Some medications make the effects of extreme heat worse. People with heart disease, poor blood circulation, obesity and mental illness are at risk for getting sick if the temperatures climb.

    The National Weather Service reports the unprecedented heat in the West will move inland with temperatures as high as 30 degrees above normal in a region where many residences don’t have air conditioning. Excessive heat warnings have been issued and people are urged to follow heat safety steps such as stay in air-conditioned areas, drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities. More safety information below.

    More than 140 trained Red Cross disaster workers are responding, some virtually, to operate and support 11 shelters and cooling centers where more than 400 people sought a cool place to escape the heat. The Red Cross is working with state, local and tribal officials to determine what other help is needed.

    Please follow local guidance on dealing with extreme weather conditions.. To find an open shelter/cooling center, visit redcross.org or download free Red Cross app “Emergency” and view open facilities. If you don’t have access to a computer or smart phone, call 800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767)..

    In addition to the free Red Cross app “Emergency”, the Red Cross First Aid app gives you instant access to information on handling common first aid scenarios, including heat emergencies. Download for free here or search for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store. Learn First Aid and CPR/AED skills (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you can help save a life.


    Learn about what to do to help someone with heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

    1. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
    2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of non-caffeine and non-alcoholic fluids.
    3. Check on family, friends and neighbors without air conditioning, who are alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
    4. If you don’t have air conditioning, seek relief from the heat in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
    5. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
    6. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
    7. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
    8. Postpone outdoor activities.
    9. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
    10. Check on animals frequently. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.

    Read more at Red Cross.org

  • 06/30/2021 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    Across more than 50 high-risk communities, Red Crossers and community partners helped educate more than 73,000 people on how to protect themselves against home fires.

    Although this year’s activities looked different because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they remained critically important as home fires have continued to be the nation’s most frequent disaster. So far, the Home Fire Campaign has saved more than 850 lives that we know of — with many of these attributed to lifesaving Sound the Alarm activities.

    Wisconsin resident Rita Thompson told Red Crossers that, “I feel more protected,” when she spoke with volunteers about her home fire escape plan, while local firefighters installed free smoke alarms to replace outdated ones in her home.

    The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign — which has reached 2.4 million people since October 2014 — continues to be a lifesaving success because of the dedication and innovation that each Red Cross staff and volunteers show every day.

      Click here for a video message

  • 06/14/2021 9:35 AM | Anonymous

    Red Cross reports red cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers climbs by 10% in 2021 – more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide blood transfusions

    June 14 is World Blood Donor Day – an important reminder about the critical need for blood as the country turns the corner on the devastating COVID-19 pandemic

    "The Red Cross is currently experiencing a severe blood shortage,” said Chris Hrouda, president of Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Our teams are working around the clock to meet the extraordinary blood needs of hospitals and patients – distributing about 75,000 more blood products than expected over the past three months to meet demand – but we can’t do it without donors. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.”

    Right now, hospitals are responding to an atypically high number of traumas and emergency room visits. In comparison to 2019, the Red Cross has seen red cell demand from hospitals with trauma centers climb by 10% in 2021 – more than five times the growth of other facilities that provide transfusions. Twenty to 40% of trauma deaths that occur after hospital admission involve massive hemorrhaging. In these dire circumstances, doctors may need hundreds of blood products, depending on the severity of the trauma, to help save a life.

    In addition, there is great hospital demand for blood as patients who previously deferred care during the COVID-19 pandemic present with more advanced disease progression, therefore requiring increased blood transfusions.

    With less than half a day supply available of type O blood in recent weeks, there is an emergency need for type O donors. Type O is the most needed blood group by hospitals. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

    “Some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care. As we return to pre-pandemic activities and resume travel to visit loved ones, we want people to remember the needs of patients this summer and the power so many of us have to help save lives,” Hrouda added.

    Patients need the help of the American people – please schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.

    Read more at redcross.org/about us

  • 06/09/2021 9:23 AM | Anonymous

    Summer heat can be dangerous for pets.  Red Cross has some tips to keep your pets safe this summer.  

    1. Don't leave you pets in a hot vehicle, even for a few minutes to run into the storr, post office or bank.  Even with the windows cracked open, the interior temperature can quickly reach 120 degrees.
    2. Animals can also suffer heat stroke.  Dogs with short noses or snouts, like a boxer or bulldog, overweight dogs, dogs with heavy coats, older odgs, and dogs with respiratry issues are particularily prone to heat stroke.
    3. Signs of heat stroke in your pet include:
      -Heavy panting and unable to calm down, even when lying down
      -Brick-red gum color
      -Fast pulse rate
      -Unable to get up
    4. If you suspect heat stoke, take your pets temperature rectally.
      -If temp is above 105 degrees, cool your pet down. You can hose them down with the garden hose or get them into cool water in the tub or shower until their temp is down to 103 degrees.
      -Bring your pet to the vet asap because heat stroke can cause organ dysfuntion and failure.

    For more Summer Safety Pet Tips check out this article at redcross.org

  • 06/01/2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    This year's hurricane season is predicted to be very active.  A brand new  disaster relief distribution center in Atlanta represents a partnership with Amazon, Red Cross, and five global humanitarian aid organizations.  The new distribution center will provide a faster response to communities hit by hurricanes and other natural disasters. 

    "This most recent effort in the disaster relief hub is an opportunity for us (the Red Cross) to leverage their (Amazon's) expertise in logistics and be able to work with them to get resources just in time to places that are hard to get stuff to," Trevor Riggen, senior vice president for Red Cross Disaster Services said. "Places that are difficult to move resources without a plane, and Amazon has that capability to move things quickly."

    Read the more at CNN

  • 05/30/2021 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    Throughout the 140-year history of the American Red Cross, the entertainment industry has been a great supporter of our lifesaving mission. Today, the Red Cross Celebrity Cabinet works to raise awareness of Red Cross services, volunteer opportunities and fundraising needs in times of crisis — a proud tradition that traces its roots back to the early years of our organization.

    Artist Norman Rockwell created the Mobilize for Defense Support the 1951 Red Cross Fund to support the mobilization of Red Cross resources to provide assistance during the Korean War.  Red Cross provided field representatives, volunteers, blood and emergency communications to support armed forces personnel and their families.

    Other Celebrities include:

    • Trace Adkins
    • Jim Cantore
    • Diana Princess of Wales
    • Walt Disney
    • Josh Duhamel
    • Amy Grant
    • Patty LaBelle
    • Eli Manning
    • Eleanor Roosevelt
    • Darius Rucker
    • Jane Seymour

    Read more here

    Watch Red Cross 140-years of service videos here

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