RedHawks Mondays and Tuesdays
Tulsa, Enid Get New Leadership
Deon Smith has been named executive director of OBI, Tulsa. Deon began his blood banking career with OBI in 1994, as a phlebotomist. Since ’96, he has worked for Haemonetics, a global company providing medical devices and consultation for blood processing. Most recently, his role was strategic account executive with responsibility as sales director for the western United States. His vast exposure to other blood centers’ operations and management will be a great asset in the growth of services in Tulsa and northeast Oklahoma. Deon graduated from Phillips University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Deon and his wife, Mindy, reside in Claremore with their two children.
Enid is also welcoming a new executive director. Tania Warnock is no stranger to the area. She has worked at the city’s Central National Bank since 2005, most recently as marketing director. Prior to that, she was director of Development for the Reining Horse Sports Foundation, OKC; director of communications and marketing for the Autry Technology Center, Enid; and a business writer and columnist for the Enid News and Eagle. In this north central and western Oklahoma region where commitment to OBI’s mission runs deep, Tania’s leadership and dynamism will continue the terrific partnerships built upon neighbors helping neighbors through the gift of blood.
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African Blood Centers Helped
Appreciation Event A Home Run
Blood drive coordinators from across central Oklahoma enjoyed a cookout, OKC RedHawks baseball game and a fireworks display in May. Some 120 coordinators and their family members were honored for tireless work in organizing and recruiting for blood drives at their businesses, schools and community groups throughout the year.
The highlight of the evening was seeing blood recipient Tyler Brooksher, 13, throw out the first pitch. Tyler needed blood from more than 40 donors while battling a serious liver condition that eventually required a liver transplant in 2012. He was joined by his family and buddies from Norman, who shared heartfelt thanks to all for making sure blood was available to help Tyler survive.
To learn how you can coordinate a blood drive, call 877-340-8777.
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“I Wouldn’t Even Be Here.”
Former Professor Finds New Way To Inspire Students
Although Dr. Joe Catalano retired after 29 years as a professor, he is still teaching. As a volunteer with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), he educates high school students on the importance of making blood donation a priority as an advocate for its Honor Cord program.
Dr. Catalano began volunteering with OBI three years ago. He has greeted donors at blood drives and helped OBI staff in addition to his work at the high school. “It is a type of constant activity that gets you excited,” says Dr. Catalano. “If you like people, like working with people and want to do something positive to help, this would be a good opportunity.”
Dr. Catalano aims to instill compassion in the students and urges everyone in the community to donate blood and time. “There’s a real need,” he says. “If you want to do something that is positive, doesn’t cost you anything and only takes a short time, but yet is very beneficial, donating blood is one of the best things that you can do.”
Interested in being a volunteer? Tasks vary based on the interests and strengths of each individual, but most often, the need is for good-hearted people who can welcome donors and assist with simple clerical tasks. Learn more about volunteer opportunities with OBI.
Bloodstock Marks New Beginning
For Megan Ballou, Tulsa, Bloodstock holds special meaning. The original Bloodstock in 2005 was the first time Megan shared her story about receiving blood to encourage people to donate. She was still recovering from a car accident involving a semi-truck that left her with extensive injuries.
In fact, she was told that the air transport team held little hope she would survive. If it hadn’t been for blood donated by 17 donors, who had no idea whom they would help, she would not have!
Since then, she has returned to Bloodstock to recount the milestone it represents in her life. Celebrate Megan’s miracle by donating at Bloodstock on July 13.
Making Momma Proud!
Congratulations to all 2013 high school graduates - especially the 548 who received blood donation honor cords, like Jarrett Talbott at Edmond North High School. “Thank you for allowing my son to donate blood throughout his high school years,” wrote Keisha Talbott, Jarett’s mom. “It has helped teach him how to be responsible.” Graduates in 210 different schools earned blood donation honor cords.
Honor cord recipients donate blood at least six times after turning 16! Students who accomplished this earn a certificate and cord to wear at graduation. Through the Honor Cord program, students learn the community impact they can have in saving lives. If you’re 16 or older and enrolled in high school, start earning your honor cord now by giving blood!
If you are a high school student in our service area, register in the Honor Cord program and make a difference in someone’s life.
Summer Blood Drives
All In: Donor Gives Blood and Estate
by Gary Lynch, director of Development & Sustainability
“I’m a platelet donor, but I don’t feel at ease without a knife or fork,” quipped James Hellams, OKC. His enthusiasm for our life-saving mission has driven him to give 71 gallons (and counting). That’s about 568 times in a donor chair. That’s plenty of time to become renowned as the ‘class clown’ of the central OKC donor center! Now, James is taking his commitment even further. He has designated Oklahoma Blood Institute as the sole beneficiary of his estate.
James has no immediate family, yet wants to be sure he leaves a legacy with the sizeable estate he has been fortunate enough to accumulate. James’ faith has profoundly influenced his belief in the sanctity of life, and leaving his entire estate to Oklahoma Blood Institute manifests that belief.
Our Legacy Society honors financial contributors who include Oklahoma Blood Institute in their estate plans. James will be listed among these generous contributors. Learn about the various ways you can support our life-saving mission.