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Specialist in Blood Bank Technology and Transfusion Medicine Program

The American Red Cross, Southern California Blood Services Region offers a Specialist in Blood Bank Technology and Transfusion Medicine (SBBT/TM) program and is located at the Red Cross blood center in Pomona, California. The donor center collects, prepares, processes and distributes more than 300,000 red cell, plasma and platelet products annually. The location’s reference lab serves more than 150 local area hospitals as well as hospitals and blood centers across the United States.

The year long program incorporates all aspects of blood center operations, including whole blood collection, apheresis collections, blood component preparation and curriculum devoted to aiding in the solution of complex transfusion-related problems, including selection of rare donor units for patients’ needs.

Rotations include Reference Services, the HLA/Platelet Immunology Laboratory, Special Immunohematology Laboratory, National Testing Laboratory for infectious disease testing, and outside hospital rotations for observation of advanced transfusion medicine practices. 

Students attend weekly 2-hour lectures, center-sponsored 6-hour Transfusion Medicine seminars and meet regularly with the Program Director, Gina Leger, and Medical Director, Dr. Joy Fridey.

Questions?
Please contact Kate Hernandez, Community Education Coordinator
at Catherine.Hernandez@redcross.org or call 909.859.7496.

 

Program Summary

  • In person, face to face one year program (January – December), taught by leaders in the field
  • One of the few schools offering a student stipend, benefits, and does NOT charge any tuition
  • Hours are primarily Monday through Friday day shift with no weekend or holiday coverage at one of the largest blood centers in the world
  • Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) www.caahep.org upon the recommendation of the AABB www.aabb.org.
  • A certificate is awarded to graduates of the program, which allows the graduates to sit for the Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) examination given by ASCP (American Society for Clinical Pathology) www.ascp.org.
  • Students successfully completing this program and SBB exam will be prepared to assume positions in administration, management/supervision, clinical research, or teaching in a hospital, blood center, governmental agency, or health care related industry

Admission Requirments

  • US citizen or eligible to work in the United States
  • Valid CLS license from the State of California (preferred) or eligible for CLS licensure
  • Preference given to those with at least three years of full-time Blood Bank experience

Application Process

Applicants to the program must submit the following to Catherine.Hernandez@redcross.org for consideration:

  • Resume or CV listing pertinent experience and education
  • Copy of California CLS license (or evidence of eligibility)
  • Copy of baccalaureate degree. Academic work completed at colleges and universities outside of the USA require transcript evaluation by an ASCP acceptable evaluation agency.
  • At least two letters of recommendation including one from current employer.
  • A essay of applicant’s goals for applying to the program
  • Applications should be received by October 1 prior to the start of the program.
  • Successful applicants must meet American Red Cross Blood Services employment requirements including a background check and drugs of abuse screening.

Stipend and Benefits

Students in the program are paid employees of American Red Cross Blood Services and are entitled to medical, dental and life insurance coverage. Students accrue paid time off (PTO) on a monthly basis and are granted paid holidays.

The blood center is a new 201,000 square foot building located on the campus of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Students have access to campus amenities including a fee-based health club, outdoor swimming pool, campus bookstore and restaurants. There is a Transfusion Medicine library within the blood center.

The blood center is freeway close to many southland communities and a reasonable drive to beaches, mountain ski resorts and southern California’s theme parks. Airport service is very near via Ontario Airport.

Program Officials

Regina (Gina) Leger, MSQA, MT(ASCP)SBB, CMQ/OE(ASQ)
Program Director

Gina Leger obtained her training as a Specialist in Blood Banking from the Pacific Northwest Red Cross School of Blood Banking in Portland. She worked in Dr. George Garratty's Immunohematology Research Laboratory at the American Red Cross Southern California Region for over 20 years and was responsible for ongoing research and development of projects in the areas of red cell serology and immune hemolytic anemias, for publication and presentation at state and national meetings. Prior to joining Dr. Garratty's research laboratory, Gina was a Reference Specialist in the Reference Laboratory at the Southern California Region. Gina received a Masters of Science in Quality Assurance from California State University, Dominguez Hills, and is certified as a Manager of Quality and Organizational Excellence by the American Society for Quality. Gina is a member of the AABB, the California Blood Bank Society, and the American Society for Quality. She served on several AABB committees (Technical Manual, Immunohematology Reference Laboratory Standards, and Quality Management Standards). She lectures and has presented and published many papers primarily in the areas of red cell serology, serological methods and the immune hemolytic anemias, and has written chapters for medical technology textbooks and the AABB Technical Manual.
 

Joy L. Fridey, MD
Program Medical Director

Joy L. Fridey, MD, completed her residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, and did her transfusion medicine fellowship at the American Red Cross in Southern California. Her career in Transfusion Medicine spans more than twenty years, and includes experience in community blood centers and hospital transfusion services. In addition, she has served as medical director of FACT-accredited hematopoietic progenitor cell collection facilities and one of the largest stem cell processing laboratories in the United States. She also has experience in pediatric transfusion medicine and both adult and pediatric therapeutic apheresis. She has served on numerous AABB and California Blood Bank Society committees, and on the Board of Directors of both organizations. She has lectured on a wide range of transfusion medicine and blood banking topics, and recently received the AABB President’s Award for her participation in the AABB/CDC Biovigilance Program.

Kate Hernandez, MT(ASCP)SBB
Education Coordinator

Kate Hernandez, MT(ASCP)SBB, has over 20 years of experience in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine including many years of teaching and education experience. She is a member of AABB and the California Blood Bank Society (CBBS). She is an AABB Transfusion Service Assessor and College of American Pathologist (CAP) Inspector. She currently serves on the CBBS Clinical Laboratory Scientist (CLS) Committee and CBBS Emergency Preparedness Committee. Kate is a graduate of the American Red Cross Southern California Specialist in Blood Bank Technology and Transfusion Medicine program.