Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 13, 1995

Homewood Can Lessen Blood Supply Shortfall

By Ken Keatley
     Squeezing blood from a stone.
     That's almost the challenge Homewood donor chairperson Peggy
Jones faces five times a year, during the Red Cross Blood Drive.
Although there are typically 5,000 or more students, faculty and
staff on campus during any "drive time," only about 150 on
average donate blood.
     "And most of them are students," said Jones, benefits
specialist for the Office of Human Resources, who has chaired the
drive since 1979. "Faculty and staff members just don't
participate as much."
     On the eve of the first Homewood drive of '95--Tuesday, Feb.
14, 9 am. to 3 p.m., and Wednesday, Feb. 15, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in
the Glass Pavilion of Levering Hall--Jones is hoping that the
Hopkins community will have a heart for Valentine's Day and give
with gusto.
     "As someone who has been both a donor and organizer of these
drives, it's quite a rewarding feeling to be able to help," said
Jones. "I enjoy seeing the donors--especially the students--who
are so anxious to give of themselves."
     Besides free cookies, juice, pizza and the tender loving
care of Red Cross staffers and volunteers, donors this week will
have the chance to win a sweetheart of a door prize: free boxes
of candy.
     The freebies, along with a new marketing campaign headed by
Judy Peregoff, manager of the Office of Faculty, Staff and
Retiree Programs, is expected to bolster participation.
     "Thanks to staff members in Design and Publications who
recognize the significance of Red Cross Blood Drives, our 1995
campaign will take on a new look," said Peregoff. "We hope that
the teasers and the reminder stickers mailed out earlier this
month will encourage faculty and staff members to mark their
calendars and to donate as often as possible."
     Jones noted that five drives are held each academic year,
with the high point being 1991-92 when 875 units of blood (175
units per drive) were collected. But the numbers have diminished
considerably since then, with the 1993-94 total being just 732
units (146 units per drive), a decrease of 16.4 percent.
     Meg Paterson, a communications assistant for the Red Cross
Blood Services Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region, said blood
donation levels often fluctuate, and are typically low during the
winter months.
     "Donations are currently down because of the weather and the
flu," said Paterson. "Normally, we like to have a three-day blood
supply on hand. But right now, we have less than a one-day supply
of A-negative and O-negative blood."
     Paterson added that the Chesapeake and Potomac Region
supplies 90 percent of the blood at 84 hospitals--including Johns
Hopkins Hospital--located in southern Pennsylvania, Northern
Virginia and Maryland. 
      William Dean, associate director for development and alumni
relations for the School of Engineering, has for years given at
Hopkins or at local blood donor centers, beginning when he was an
undergraduate here in the 1970s.
     "The experience itself is easy and absolutely painless. I
thank God I've never been in a position where I've needed blood,
but certainly know people who have," said Dean, who has donated
more than five gallons. "It seems like such a tiny little thing
to do that can go so far to help people. It's an hour out of your
time, every three months or so. I have a hard time justifying not
doing it."
     Members of the Hopkins community have an added reason for
participating. The Blood Assurance Plan, which began in 1969,
automatically covers any staff or faculty member's need for blood
and the needs of their dependents, at no expense to the recipient
(except for the cost of processing the blood).
     Jones would like to thank everyone who has donated in the
past, and asks that anyone interested in donating blood on Feb.
14 or Feb. 15 call her at 516-8039 to reserve a donation time.
Total time required is about 45 minutes to an hour. Although
walk-ins are accepted, reservations reduce the time needed to

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