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  • 02/03/2023 1:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    February Webinar – Update on the Financial Health of the American Red Cross with Carmel Darcy, Chief Financial Officer, and Brian Rhoa, Chief Investment Officer

    Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 1:00 PM-2:30 PM

    Many of you have worked with both Brian and Carmel. Both have been leaders and managers of the Red Cross financial team for more than 20 years, working to bring financial security, transparency and support for the mission of the organization. They have led the Finance team through many transformational years including the consolidation, centralization, and further automation of the Red Cross financial system.  Join Brian and Carmel to learn more about the financial health of the organization and the pension plan results from the latest reporting. 

    Carmel Darcy was recently promoted to the chief financial officer role.  She has been with Red Cross for over 23 years and has demonstrated exceptional leadership in providing financial expertise and support for the organization, financial controls for day-to-day operations, as well as large disaster operations. Focusing on margin and mission, she has provided financial discipline to the FY22 and FY25 strategic plan and is an integral part of developing the FY27 strategic plan.  She has built a Finance team that includes 200 finance volunteers and is the executive sponsor of the Latino Resource Group.

    Brian Rhoa formally assumed the role of chief investment officer for the Red Cross, a role he took on along with his chief financial officer responsibility a few years ago.  He will manage all investing strategies and risks for our operating reserves, the endowment and pension plan.  Brian has been with Red Cross for more than 28 years and was appointed CFO in March 2008. Brian consolidated the Treasury and Finance function for greater transparency, lower costs, stronger financial controls, and greater mission delivery.  Over the last few years, he has worked to create and execute a plan to fully fund the pension while reducing risks and expenses.

    Click here to view a recording of the webinar

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w70kH_uxjE3eTcs00SuQ0OAF8S6bPx6g/view?usp=sharing

    .

    Click here to listen to an audio recording of the webinar.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kkZP-psHeRVJrl1pWM33orQ9bjq3g-Yl/view?usp=sharing--


         


  • 12/02/2022 6:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tuesday, December 13, 2022 

    Disaster Cycle Services (DCS) Mission Adaptation Program Update
    Anne Palmer, Executive Director, Operations Policy & Mission Adaptation

    Tens of millions of families throughout the U.S., many of whom are facing the threat of poverty, are at risk of being forced from their homes due to an increasing number of extreme weather disasters.  Tragically, the rapidly accelerating pace of climate displacement is having a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable communities that lack the resources needed to cope.  As the nation's largest provider of emergency sheltering, Red Cross knows that extreme weather events exacerbate existing societal challenges - such as food insecurity, health care access, and the conditions and availability of housing. These 3Hs - Hunger, Health, and Housing - are the focus of the Mission Adaption Program (MAP).  MAP is being launched to provide jurisdiction-wide support in eight counties/parishes across the country selected for social vulnerability and natural hazard risk factors.

    Anne Palmer  joined the American Red Cross’ Disaster Cycles Services team in 2007 and currently serves as the Executive Director of Operations Policy & Mission Adaptation.   Anne leads the development and execution of strategic operations policy and operational mission adaptation due to climate change and the increasing needs of vulnerable populations across the United States.

    Use this link to watch a video recording of the webinar:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dDGkIGEosZN6Kw5nwnDIwb3-Z6MQBvXV/view?usp=share_link video link

    Use this link to listen to the podcast audio recording of the webinar:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WerKlP6Y_wEEMfsC7GJR-t4yaNOjOqgO/view?usp=share_link  audio link



  • 09/30/2022 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There is clear scientific evidence that climate change is occurring. These changes — caused in part by human behavior — are already resulting in more frequent and intense weather events. If left unabated, this will place an unprecedented burden on families and on the resilience of communities.  Climate change is a humanitarian crisis. Every day, the American Red Cross sees the heartbreak of families and communities trying to cope with more intense storms, heavier rainfall, higher temperatures, stronger hurricanes and more devastating wildfires. And for the vulnerable communities who are disproportionately impacted by the increased and virtually chronic frequency of these events, help cannot come soon enough.

    Those retirees who have been responding to recent disasters as Red Cross volunteers or FEMA staff have noticed that the storms are bigger and more destructive. Red Cross has been on the ground responding to the fires out West continuously for the last few years. Communities on the Gulf Coast of Florida were destroyed by Hurricane Ian. These more frequent and intense storms are the result of climate change. Red Crossers are helping vulnerable communities that are disproportionally impacted by these weather events. 

    Amanda Ernst, Program Director, Environmental, Societal & Corporate Governance (ESG) & Sustainability  started her career with the Red Cross in 2014 and has served in various roles including Program Director in the Sustainability & ESG office, and a Process Engineer in Biomed. Amanda is focused on workforce engagement and building a culture of ESG and sustainability in the Red Cross and leads key environmental footprint reduction initiatives. Over the years she has implemented various programs to reduce waste including the Red Cross Employee App, which eliminated several paper-based processes and has 700,000+ logins per month.

    Amanda  updated attendees on Red Cross is reducing its carbon footprint and increasing investment in sustainability. While ESG is common in business, Red Cross is one of the first nonprofits to seriously implement it and will be issuing its ESG report shortly.  Red Cross is building the organization’s resilience and the resilience of people and communities by adapting mission delivery and growing  operational capacity to address the heightened impacts and quickened pace of disasters. 

    Starting with the Red Cross’ carbon footprint for FY19 for fleet and facilities, the footprint estimate is equivalent to over 143 million pounds coal burned or more than 300,000 barrels of oil consumed. To offset the Red Cross carbon footprint for just one year would take more than 2 million new trees grown for 10 years. Amanda talked about the transition to electric or hybrid vehicles, improving the energy efficiency of facilities, and building a culture of ESG and sustainability at Red Cross. Amanda stressed that this is just the start as work continues to evaluate each program of Red Cross and implement environmental footprint reduction initiatives.

    Using the links below, you can listen to the audio recording of the program much as you would a podcast from your phone or computer or watch the video recording of the webinar.

    Audio  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FxFd4iIH2bCTTKRfIcrT_Rbiccvl1T73/view?usp=sharing

    Video https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Oz_Eoh4AsOPpfjQ0xnk-89xU86-RQufX/view?usp=sharing

    Amanda provided these links for additional information:

    1.  Red Cross statement on Climate Change

    2.  Bright Ideas Survey –share ideas for how the American Red Cross can be more sustainable.

    3.. On September 28, the Office of ESG and Sustainability hosted  an informal conversation with Bill Nye, the renowned science educator and host and executive producer of “The End is Nye.”  You can watch the recording of Bill Nye talking about sustainability and climate change with Red Crossers.

    4. Click here to read the American Red Cross Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.

    Amanda also invited folks to contact her directly with thoughts, feedback and comments at sustainability@redcross.org!


  • 05/22/2022 12:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    Koby Langley, Senior Vice President SAF and International Services has recently returned from Poland where he visited Red Cross refugee relief operations. The webinar will be interactive and provide an opportunity for participant questions.

    Amid the unbearable suffering and tragedy of the Ukraine crisis, Red Crossers have sprung into action, helping the most vulnerable in times of need. From providing emergency aid to people seeking safety and to improving conditions for those in harm’s way and offering comfort and care to those who’ve fled the conflict, the Red Cross is there with open arms.

    More than 42,000 volunteers and staff are working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by the devastation in Ukraine. Their work is particularly evident at border crossings and train stations. Under mortal danger to themselves, these Red Cross teams are working tirelessly to help people and communities impacted by conflict. By offering a warm meal after a harrowing journey, providing emotional support to those who are suffering or providing critical items to mothers and children, Red Crossers continue to show their kindness and dedication.

    The American Red Cross has provided $16 million to the Red Cross movement to meet the needs of refugees in Ukraine.  In addition, the American Red Cross SAF team is supporting U.S. military of site in Europe. The American Red Cross response to the crisis in Ukraine is the largest Service to the Armed Services response since the attacks of 9/11.  As the Ukraine crisis continues, the Red Cross will continue to provide unwavering support for military families and service members in need.

    Koby began his presentation by acknowledging the great work in international Service and Service to Military through the hard work of staff and volunteers over the years to build the foundation for our work today. 

    Koby explained that ARC  has made a shift in International Services to a new strategic platform made up of four pillars:

    • 1.       Global disaster management support

    Responding to international disasters is similar to the domestic disaster response with which we are all familiar, but the ARC does not directly implement international disaster response.  ARC provide key technical support to assist where national society capabilities are stretched to the limit and our experts can help improve the capabilities.  In 2021, ARC responded to 30 international disasters, providing $180 million in funds directly from ARC and the American public through the ARC. Efforts are underway to expand the current deployment teams to 200 members comprised of staff and volunteer.  We are working collectively with our Red Cross partners to determine the need and bring in the partners with the expertise to create collective impact.

    • 2.        Measles Rubella Initiative

    The Measles Rubella initiative began some 15 years about with the UN and global health organizations. More than 20 million lives have been saved so far with a vaccination rate of 94 percent.  We have pursued a global immunization strategy and are looking a strengthening global healthcare delivery,

    • 3.       Domestic International Services support

     Restoring Family Links and International Humanitarian Law are important parts of the Red Cross mission. They are now integrated into the role of SAF in every region creating direct responsibility at all levels of the organization.

    • 4.       Movement Relations

    Building strong partnerships and relationship is critical to the success of transformation and engagement of the movement.   Strategic global engagements have been strengthened.

    Koby provided an update on Ukraine and described it as a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions with 12 million people displaced and 8.7 million people displaced within Ukraine.  The president of the Ukraine Red Cross told him that it will take a decade to recover from the devastation.  To date ARC has raised $120 million and has sent in experts to help run the relief operations.  Currently 12 to 15 staff are deployed for month or several month rotations. Koby said he expects that some 200 to 250 ARC staff and volunteers with support the management of the relief operations.  He believes we are in the first few months of a 24-month effort.  New donor stewardship reporting is now operating as is done domestically with a report every 3-months.  The first such report on the $44.3 million in funds for Ukraine is in the draft stages.

    Koby said that, as Red Cross has done since 1905, when the U.S. military deployed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, SAF staff also deployed to provide communication between the military and their families.  SAF staff are now in Lithuania, Poland and Romania with the U.S. troops.  This is the largest one-time deployment since 2003, the start of the Iraq War.

    Koby said that ARC response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has marked a turning point in the way that the ARC responds to international disasters because all levels and parts of the organization have been engaged in supporting the effort.  It also marks a historic moment for the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement to get this right.  They have been on the ground since the beginning, negotiating with Russia for the safety of Ukrainians fleeing the war zone, creating relief centers in countries surrounding Ukraine, and coordinating international relief efforts.

    We experienced technical difficulties with the video recording of the webinar. You can listen to the audio recordiing of the webinar by clicking on this link:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/18l1-65PnaXxH_3B1sVMWrVl5Hi66HdFn/view?usp=sharing

    Read the 3-Month report on the American Red Cross support of the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis


  • 02/28/2022 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Solferino 21 – Warfare, Civilians and Humanitarians in the Twenty-First Century by Hugo Slim

    Harold Brooks, ARCRA President interviewed Hugo Slim, the former IFRC Director of International Law and Policy, about his new book Solferino 21 – Warfare, Civilians and Humanitarians in the Twenty-First Century.  The book is a persuasive overview of conflict and aid today, calling for a major rethink of war humanitarianism to meet the new challenges of the twenty-first century.

    More than 80 attendees listened to Hugo Slim, talk about his book, Solferino 21- Warfare, Civilians and Humanitarians in the Twenty-First Century.  Dr. Hugo Slim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice at Blackfriars Hall at the University of Oxford and was Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva from 2015 to 2020.

    Red Crossers are familiar with the Battle of Solferino in 1859.  The 15 hours of fighting left some 8,000 men dead and more than 20,000 wounded or missing.  The military medical services were overwhelmed. A young Swiss man, Henri Dunant, in the area on business, helped local women volunteers care for the wounded and dying at the church of Castiglione.  Regardless of what side they fought on, all soldiers were treated equally.    In 1862, Dunant, the father of the Red Cross movement,  self-published a graphic account of the aftermath of the battle, called  A Memory of Solferino.

    Dunant pushed for:

    ·  the establishment of an international network of national relief societies to care for the injured – an idea that would eventually lead to the formation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies,

    ·  the creation of an international relief society to support those national societies (ICRC),

    ·  and, the creation of international law to protect the wounded in war, which developed into the Geneva Conventions.  

    In his comments, Slim marveled that not only did Dunant propose these three policy actions, he was able to actualize them within two years, in 1864.

    Slim broke his presentation into the three parts represented by the book…warfare, civilians and humanitarians.

    Warfare

    Slim represented that warfare in 1859 was reaching a tipping point. In the Battle at Solferino, the Second War of Italian Independence, two monarchs led traditional warfare, in which armies battled on foot and on horseback.  But with the growth of rail and the industrial economy, the world of warfare reached a tipping point moving into the new era of industrial warfare, a time of huge peer-to-peer armies on land, sea and in the air, fighting with sophisticated, automatic weaponry.

    Slim related that warfare so far in the 21st century has been militarily small with small battles, unlike the 20th century and before, and with significantly fewer casualties.  This is good news. However, in the 21st century, Slim believes we have reached another tipping point facing a global war using computer warfare and artificial intelligence for planetary advantage in outer space, cyberspace and personal info-space.  We are entering a new era of computerized “big war”, and a renewal of great-power conflicts with super powers like China, Russia, the United States, India and NATO.  Are humanitarians able and willing to change to meet the challenges of a new century of warfare and of climate change?

    Civilians

    Slim talked about Dunant’s focus to improve the treatment and alleviate the suffering of soldiers, male soldiers.  The focus of current efforts is to reduce civilian deaths, especially the deaths of women and children. The nature of war has changed from big war with incredible numbers of civilians killed to smaller wars or battles with fewer civilians killed.  For example in World War II, 45,000 people were killed in one night of bombing of Hamburg, Germany, as compared to an estimated 19,000 civilians killed by explosive weapons in urban areas during 2020.  While the number of deaths has diminished, the impact of war on societies is devastating:  the loss of jobs; destruction of hospitals and clinics; public servants like police and firefighters flee their jobs; destruction of homes, schools and communities; and devastation of the local economy.  War has displaced and impoverished entire communities.

    Humanitarians

    Slim stated that the current humanitarian movement emerged from both World Wars, with the formation of large, international humanitarian organizations:  Save the Children, Red Cross, United Nations, World Food Program, Settlement Houses, and other charitable programs.  In the 20th century we saw a new focus led by Muhammad Yunus and his founding of the Grameen Bank, a new type of social program of microcredit and microloans directly to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. 

    Slim talked of two traditions within humanitarian movements:

    • A neutral “Swiss model” - neutrality, with equal treatment and access to all sides
    •  Resistance humanitarianism – that takes sides

    Humanitarian organizations need to adapt if they are to meet the new challenges of the 21st century, or they will fail.  Humanitarian response is evolving quickly and requires big money to respond to the ever-broader needs in long, big wars and climate crisis in the future.

    Slim provided four recommendations to humanitarian organizations:

    1.    Humanitarian agencies and workers must prepare for the big war and the global impact of climate change.

    2.    Stay focused on ALL CITIZENS and support with simpler aid to drive money to people on the ground.

    3.    Recognize the role and importance of both neutral, traditional humanitarian organizations and resistance aid organizations.

    4.    Move fast to become leaner and drive “localization” that invests in trusted national and community organizations.

    Slim closed with a less than optimistic prediction of the outcome of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  He referred to a mystical, nationalist vision to reunite the three core countries of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.  Russian policy in Ukraine would be to remove their current government, media and resistance leaders, and bring them back under Russian government and control.  He did not believe that traditional, western NGO’s would be allowed in, and groups like the ICRC and UN would operate under Russian control with Russian appointed individuals in charge.

    Dr. Hugo Slim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Las Casas Institute for Social Justice at Blackfriars Hall at the University of Oxford and works with the Institute of Ethics, Las and Armed Conflict at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government.  Dr Slim has combined a career in academia, policy and practice.  His career includes working at Save the Children-UK, working for the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Ethiopia, and Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brooks University where he co-led the new Masters in Development and Humanitarian Practice with Nabeel Hamdi at the Center for Development and Emergency Practice, winning a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education. He has also worked at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva, He was Head of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva from 2015 to 2020.

    Recordings
    The program was video recorded.
    Click here to view. 

    You can also listen to the audio recording of the program. Click here to listen.


    Order the book
    The book will not be published in the US until April, 2022. In the meantime, you can order it directly from the UK publisher to be delivered to the US. Please use this website and  the Promo code SOLFERINO for a 25% discount  
    https://www.hurstpublishers.com/book/solferino-21/  

    IFRC ALUMNI

    IFRC Alumni was launched at the end of 2019, linked to the 100th anniversary of IFRC.Alumni Membership is free reflecting the vast history of volunteerism in the Movement.For your free membership, please enter IFRC Alumni in the web or go to the website for further details and an Application Form: https://www.ifrc.org/alumni-association



  • 11/23/2021 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Greater Washington/Baltimore Group Fall Meeting consisted of two presentations of interest to Red Cross retirees:

    How American Red Cross Blood Services has evolved through the Pandemic, and – in the Process – Become Part of the War against COVID-19

    Todd Cahill, Regional Donor Services Executive for the American Red Cross Virginia Region, shared experiences on the evolution of blood banking through the pandemic. Red Cross has experienced significant changes and challenges over the past year and a half. The Red Cross team has shown great determination and flexibility in adapting to market conditions and donor presentation. Many lessons learned have contributed to Red Cross success and strategy moving forward.

    Todd began his career in the medical device industry and transitioned into blood banking as the Vice President of Lifesource Blood Services in Illinois. Prior to joining the American Red Cross in 2018, he served as the Executive Director for Vitalant with responsibility for Virginia Blood Services, Central Blood Bank in Pittsburgh, and Geisinger Blood Center.  Todd is also the past Board Chair for The Foundation for America’s Blood Centers. 

    Yoga for a Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit: Life is All About Being Flexible
    Cheryl Kravitz, certified Yoga instructor, ARCRA member.

    We have all been there, feeling stressed and tired. Yoga can help. Cheryl led a brief seated class – for men and women. Numerous studies have shown that yoga programs that include regulated breathing, controlled movement, and mindfulness practices can have far-ranging benefits for any participant. Improvements have been shown in mental health (self-regulation, self-esteem) and physical health (better sleep, reduced gastric and arthritic symptoms, and many other positive outcomes).  Cheryl took the group through a series of yoga poses and meditations all while seated in a straight-back chair.  Download the session and use it as a daily yoga program.

    Cheryl shared that research produced by the Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation has shown that the Kirtan Kriya is a formidable way to prevent Alzheimer's. There is a lot of great information on the site. Kirtan Kriya Yoga Singing Exercise - Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation (alzheimersprevention.org)

    Cheryl Kravitz, APR, CFRE, RYT200, worked with the American Red Cross for almost two decades. Cheryl graduated from the Willow Street Yoga Teacher Training Program and received additional certification to teach trauma-informed yoga and yoga for brain health to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. She teaches at two studios and conducts specialized workshops.  Cheryl has written about the benefits of yoga for local and national publications.

    Click on this link to watch the recording of the programs that comprised the Fall meeting of the Greater Washington/Baltimore Group. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Xupo2Db_iG6x2rzHO7cr46KP-5KszLSE/view?usp=sharing


  • 11/22/2021 11:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Red Cross’ operating margins in 2020 and 2021 exceeded expectations. 

    On November 4, ARCRA hosted a webinar featuring Brian Rhoa, Red Cross CFO, who discussed the financial health of the Red Cross (especially impacts from the pandemic) and the health of the retirement plan (the Plan).  Over 80 retirees participated in the hour-long session which included an active Q&A period at the end.

    For fiscal years ending June 30, 2020, and June 30, 2021, the pandemic impacted many businesses negatively and Red Cross was no exception.  Usual work schedules were interrupted, and services had to be provided differently.  Fortunately, due to significant Federal and state money being available to individuals and businesses, the Red Cross was able to continue to provide needed services in different ways with Federal and state assistance.  Brian explained that grants were provided at the local level to help manage disaster shelters and implement recommended COVID protocols while serving clients.  In addition, Federal grants helped to support convalescent plasma production to assist COVID patients.  Red Cross also implemented a big fund-raising push that garnered additional donations for the organization.  Ultimately, Red Cross’ operating margins in 2020 and 2021 exceeded expectations.  This is important since the Red Cross is the Plan sponsor and is responsible for ensuring adequate funding of the Plan. 

    Regarding Plan finances, the Annual Funding Notice was mailed to all participants the week prior to the webinar and reported a Funding Percentage as of July 1, 2020, of 101.15%.  Using Department of Labor regulations this means the plan is fully funded which is a tremendous accomplishment.  Brian explained that implementation of certain investment strategies helped Plan assets recover quickly from the pandemic economic downturn and grow significantly during the recovery.  Red Cross will continue to monitor market conditions to try to ensure funding levels at or near 100% in the future, knowing that fluctuations in interest rates and investment markets can still impact asset values and pension liability calculations.

    Hopefully, participants came away feeling secure about Plan finances and receipt of future benefits.  We are grateful to Brian for his presentation and answering the many questions from participants.

    NOTE: A full analysis of the Annual Funding Notice from David Therkelsen and Jack Campbell will be posted in December on the ARCRA website under Pension Primer.

    Here is the link to watch the recording of the webinar, type this link on your computer. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lD6xSSqWxBAlPcwZOGO8pvSLxUwvU60t/view?usp=sharing

    If you want to listen to the program like a Podcast, type this link on your computer. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ctko5IsYAWdc8On3pNaITrIdqXG1juot/view?usp=sharing


  • 09/17/2021 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thursday September 17, 2021 2:00 PM EST

    Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disease in the U.S. affecting approximately 100,000 Americans. It affects one of every 365 Black or African American births and about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births.  The incidence of Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) is 73.1 cases per 1,000 black newborns, meaning that these infants have inherited the SCT from their parents and can pass it on to their children.  Currently blood transfusion is the main treatment for SCD and patients can receive from 36 to 120+ units annually.

    The program was led by Tanya Frazier, Co-chair of the Red Cross Sickle Cell Initiative and Jenni Gassborro, product development and implementation director for diverse donors, red blood cells for American Red Cross Biomedical Services.  They  provided insight into the new Red Cross Sickle Cell Program and explained that embracing diversity is critical to the ability of the Red Cross to effectively deliver our lifesaving mission to communities across the country. One of the pillars of our organization’s focus on diversity is to nearly triple the number of African American blood donors. This will eliminate the gap in Red Cross’ ability to meet hospital demand and provide the most compatible blood match possible for patients battling sickle cell disease.

    Pete Amos shared the personal struggle of his son who has SCD and the role that a family and friend network has played to provide his son with the transfusions that he has needed and their effort to provide a normal childhood for him including sports.

    In summary, sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disease in U.S.  affecting more than 100,000 Americans.  Patients with Sickle Cell Disease require chronic transfusions and need closely matched blood and these blood products are more likely to be from donors that are African American or of African descent. 

    Here is what you need to know about Sickle Cell Disease…

    • Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is the most common inherited blood disease in US*;  SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans**
      • SCD affects 1 of every 365 Black or African American births and about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births**
      • If both parents have Sickle Cell Trait (SCT), there is a 50% (or 1 in 2) chance that any child of theirs also will have SCT, if the child inherits the sickle cell gene from one of the parents. Such children will not have symptoms of SCD, but they can pass SCT on to their children.
      • If both parents have SCT, there is a 25% (or 1 in 4) chance that any child of theirs will have SCD. There is the same 25% (or 1 in 4) chance that the child will not have SCD or SCT.
    • SCD is the most common inherited blood disease in US*;  SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans**
      • SCD affects 1 of every 365 Black or African American births and about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic American births**
      • If both parents have Sickle Cell Trait (SCT), there is a 50% (or 1 in 2) chance that any child of theirs also will have SCT, if the child inherits the sickle cell gene from one of the parents. Such children will not have symptoms of SCD, but they can pass SCT on to their children.
      • If both parents have SCT, there is a 25% (or 1 in 4) chance that any child of theirs will have SCD. There is the same 25% (or 1 in 4) chance that the child will not have SCD or SCT.
    • The U.S. incidence estimate for sickle cell trait (based on information provided by 13 states):
      • 73.1 cases per 1,000 black newborns
      • 6.9 cases per 1,000 Hispanic newborns
      • 3.0 cases per 1,000 white newborns
      • 2.2 cases per 1,000 Asian or Pacific Islander newborns
    • Individuals with SCT are eligible to donate blood
    • Blood transfusion is the main treatment for SCD
      • Simple transfusion 
        • 1-2 units
      • RBC exchange
        • Units transfused based on size of patient
        • -5-10 or more units of RBCs for adults; 3+ units for pediatric patients
    • Patients can receive from 36 - 120+ units annually

    Embracing diversity is critical to the ability of the Red Cross to effectively deliver our lifesaving mission to communities across the country. One of the pillars of the Red Cross’ focus on diversity is to nearly triple the number of African American blood donors. This will eliminate the gap in our ability to meet hospital demand and provide the most compatible blood match possible for patients battling sickle cell disease. To that effort, the Red Cross kicked off a comprehensive campaign to build awareness, educate and attract more African American donors.  A key element of the plan is to partner with national organizations including the NAACP, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and trusted community organizations.  Red Cross is also building its capacity to test, type and match an increased number of units.

    Please donate blood www.redcrossblood.org/ourblood

    Click the links below to view or listen to the recordings from this ARCRA Webinar

    Link to recorded webinar https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NWJgqRbwev-6vo3LQ5_JvsJwGazMiV1F/view?usp=sharing

    Link to audio podcast recording https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SmyKJQ8-Oqt5pufFLoiZ2agvHyZw0I3P/view?usp=sharing

    Presenter Bios

    Tanya Frazier

    Tanya has an extensive background in the science analytical chemistry field and has supervised genetics laboratories for Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughter’s as well as biomedical labs in the pharmaceutical industry with Abbott Laboratories.

    During her 26-year service at the American Red Cross Tanya has worked in Quality Assurance and Regulator for Biomedical and Tissue Services in DC and the Mid-Atlantic Region and while Quality Assurance Officer, she led the first Regional Diversity Task Force for the Mid-Atlantic Region.  She developed minority blood donor programs with local high schools. Historically Black Colleges and Universities and various churches in North Carolina and Virginia and doubled the African American blood donations within the region. Her Diversity.  With the Diversity Task Force, she developed best practices and guidance for minority blood donation programs across the Red Cross. She is the new Co-Chair for the Sickle Cell Initiative Employee Work Stream.  She has a B.S. in Biology from East Carolina University and a M.S. in Public Health Administration from Trop University. And on top of that, she is a 20+ year volunteer fitness instructor at Langley Air Force Base.

    Jenni Gassbarro

    Jenni is the product development and implementation director for diverse donors, red blood cells for American Red Cross Biomedical Services. In her role she is the internal project leads for closing the sickle cell gap. She has the honor to work with a broad reaching group of colleagues who have incredible passion and expertise to see how together, we can best meet the needs of individuals with sickle cell disease. Jenni has been with the Red Cross for 14 years, starting out in disaster and spending most of her career in fundraising, leading corporate and foundation partnerships out of Colorado.

    Edward (Pete) Amos

    Pete started his Red Cross Career early as a youth volunteer in the 5th grade in Cleveland, OH and took Red Cross First Aid courses in junior and senior high.

    While attending the Rochester Institute of Technology, in New York, Pete became a blood donor as a freshman.  While in college he created a first responder group, the Student Safety Unit, now the RIT Ambulance and was their first, First Aid Instructor.

    After joining the Xi Zeta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega, National Service Fraternity and the campus College Red Cross, Pete became Blood Donation Chairman and increased blood donations from 50 units to 200. Pete continued his Red Cross career at the Rochester-Monroe County Chapter as a DMF and Disaster Services Specialist. 

    Pete served on local and national disaster operations.  His career included stints:

    • On a joint Committee of Red Cross/League of International League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies mission to the Kingdom of Thailand
    • as Disaster Director for the Dayton Area Chapter and Western Ohio
    • at the national disaster officer in Mass Care, Damage Assessment, and Human Relation
    • as an Assistant Director of Disaster Services at Midwestern Operations Headquarters
    • ·on a one-year League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies mission to the Democratic Republic of Madagascar and a Disaster Development Delegate.
    • as Emergency Services Director for the Southeastern Michigan Chapter (Detroit).
    • as a Liaison Delegate appointed by Red Cross President Elizabeth Dole for the International Federation assignment to Turkey.

    Pete left the Red Cross to become an ISO 9000 Quality Management Specialist with AM General, assembler for the Hummer H2.   While in South Bend Pete concluded his 45th year with the ARC as a Disaster Instructor for the St. Joseph Chapter, preparing more than 100 volunteers for assignment to Hurricane Katrina.

     

  • 06/10/2021 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    •   

    • 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.  (See photo below of the attendees.).

    • 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 skill
      • 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-HipHop 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:  

    •                                                                                                           

    • Photo During the presentation, Dave had attendees cradle their head in their hands.  He reminded us that Brain Health is very important because our brain defines who we are..our personality and what make unique.

    •  

       

    BIO -Sarah Lenz LockAARP Senior Vice President of Policy and Brain Health, and Executive Director of the GCBH 

    Image previewMs. Lock leads AARP’s policy initiatives on brain health and care for people living with dementia, including serving as the Executive Director of the Global Council on Brain Health, an independent collaborative of scientists, doctors, and policy experts. Ms. Lock also coordinates AARP’s role in the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations.

    From 2007 to June 2018 she directed the Office of Policy Development and Integration, where she led the office responsible for the development of AARP’s public policies. Previously, Ms. Lock was Senior Attorney/Manager at AARP Foundation Litigation conducting health care impact litigation on behalf of older persons. She has authored numerous amicus briefs in appellate courts all over the country on health care issues impacting older Americans.

    Sarah serves on several boards and is a member of the American Society on Aging, the Gerontological Society of America, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. Sarah represents AARP on the Alliance to Improve Dementia Care and serves on the Dementia Friendly America National Council and as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow Program National Advisory Board Member. She formerly served as a Commissioner for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging and on the HHS Administration on Community Living Aging and Cognitive Health Technical Expert Advisory Board.

    Prior to joining AARP, Sarah served as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, as a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and at the law firm of Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn. Ms. Lock received a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, and a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law where she was a member of the law review.

  • 11/12/2020 4:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The ARCRA Webinar took a look at this proud part of the history of the American Red Cross, hearing about the experience of the Donut Dollies in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.

    Linda Pelegrino served as a “Donut Dollie” in Vietnam in the early years of that war.  She says it was a life-changing experience.   She said she was young and well trained and so focused on her responsibility to the service member that she does not remember feeling any fear about being in a war zone. 

    There was a lot of competition for these jobs.  The young ladies were required to have a college education and they were carefully selected.

    Donut Dollies, Maxine Powell Taylor-WWII, Shirley Hines Atkins-Korea and Vietnam,  and Debby McSwain-Vietnam,  joined Linda  to share their experiences.  The program was hosted by Sue Richter-Vietnam.

    Click here to watch the recording of the webinar

    HISTORY

    In 1867 a journalist wrote “Miss Barton is what we call a strong hearted woman, not “strong minded” in an offensive way of the term”. Indeed Clara Barton was a strong hearted woman, strong minded too and led the way for women to be involved in all activities in what was to become the American Red Cross. She once said “The door that nobody else will go in…seems always to swing open widely for me”.

    While todays program highlights the work of the Canteen women workers from WWI, to the Club and Clubmobile workers in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, we want to acknowledge the important work done by men and women who served in other positions overseas during wars, combat and now operations to support our United States Military.

    The Canteen Program started in 1917 by the French and was soon expanded by the American Red Cross. They took over large spaces and buildings, had instruments for bands and even a twenty-piece orchestra in one area for concerts. Red Cross girls supplemented the evening entertainment by distributing cigarettes, candy, apples and hot chocolate. Workers in canteens near the front lines also helped do emergency service, as we know now as emergency communications.

    The first American Red Cross clubs were opened in England in May of 1942. The idea of “clubmobile program grew out of the need to reach men stationed where no service clubs were available. The idea belongs to Harvey Gibson who took on the post of Commissioner to Great Britain in 1942. It started with converted buses or heavy trucks. They were equipped with donut making machines. The program was very successful and these women traveling in teams were soon serving in every theatre of the war and they endured all the hardships as the troops. There were even 2 “trainmobiles in the Burma/China and India area. No matter the difficulties and there were many, the Red Cross women serving in all these areas found ways to be with the troops and bring a “smile from home”. They had grit!

    In 1950, when war broke out in Korea, General Douglas McArthur requested the Red Cross provide Clubs as they had in WWII. By 1953 the small club system was replaced by a mobile recreation force that became known as the SRAO (Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas) program. Highly mobile yet also managing small recreation centers these women provided recreation programs that they took to the field, centers where service-members could enjoy card games, read books and of course have coffee and donuts! The term Do-nut Dollie is thought to have been a nickname given by the soldiers in Korea.

    The SRAO program continued in Korea and at the same time, in 1965 at the request of the military authorities, the SRAO program was started in Vietnam. The purpose was to provide clubmobile teams of Red Cross women who traveled by helicopter, jeep, and trucks to remote U.S. bases in South Vietnam where they conducted audience-participation recreation activities for isolated troops and in large support areas ran Recreation Centers.

    In 1967-68 the peak year of the program, a monthly average of 280,000 servicemen took part in Red Cross activities in the 20 major military commands in Vietnam. The teams traveled an average of 27,100 miles per month and Red Cross officials estimated they logged over 2,125,000 miles in the 7 years they were stationed in Vietnam. The May 26, 1972, Red Cross press release “Red Cross Clubmobile Girls Coming Home From Vietnam” stated that during the 7 years of the program, 627 young women most of them just out of college, served in Southeast Asia. The SRAO program in Korea ended in 1973.


    RCRA Webinar - November 13, 2:00 p.m. EST

    Sincerely,

    Jim Hamilton                                                   Harold Brooks

                              

    ARCRA President                                           Chair, Advocacy & Education


     


     

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