Seven American Red Cross Blood Services employees

October 12, 2011

(JOHNSTOWN, PA) – Each year, the Greater Alleghenies Region of the American Red Cross seeks nominations from its employees to recognize co-workers respected for their superior job performance, dedication and commitment.

This year, seven Greater Alleghenies Region employees – five based in Johnstown, one in Huntington, W. Va., and one in Wheeling, W. Va. – were selected to receive 2011 Employee Excellence or Spirit of Excellence Awards.

Employee Excellence Awards: Awardees have been nominated by their peers and selected by the Greater Alleghenies Region’s volunteer board of directors to receive the highest award that can be bestowed upon a Red Cross employee at the local level.

Steve Grove, Instructor II, Education, Johnstown, Pa., joined the Red Cross in 2004 as a Collections phlebotomist He serves as an Instructor for whole blood and double red cell collection for the Greater Alleghenies Region but has also travelled through the Heritage Division as a lead BioArch R1 Instructor. He is known as a coach, mentor and role model within the training organization and has taken a lead role when his peers have been uncomfortable with the training material. He understands how important his work is in training other employees and protecting the safety, quality, identity, purity and potency – commonly referred to as SQuIPP – but he is still able to keep it light and fun whenever possible. This ability assists in allowing those being trained to relax and thereby gaining more from the training experience.

Kelly Holdsworth, Lab Technician I, Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (IRL), Johnstown,Pa., joined the Red Cross in 1997. Her first position was in the component laboratory and she later worked in hospital services before joining the IRL six years ago. She is quick to identify needed process improvements in the IRL and frequently initiates brainstorming sessions during laboratory meetings. Her main focus is getting safe products to the patients who need them and she has developed strong relationships with regional customers to understand their unique needs. She collaborates well within her department, other regional departments and Red Cross blood centers to make sure that appropriate products arrive at the hospital and ultimately to the patient in need. Inventory management and attention to detail are among Holdsworth’s skills; recently a Red Cross Quality auditor positively commented on our award winner’s sense of personal responsibility.

John B. Nobiletti, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Johnstown, Pa. Joining the Greater Alleghenies Region in 1998, Dr. Nobiletti also provides medical oversight to the Appalachian (Roanoke, Va.) and Mid-Atlantic (Norfolk, Va.) Red Cross blood regions and served as Blood Services Physician for the Connecticut Region of Red Cross Blood Services from 1997 to 1998. He exemplifies dedication to the American Red Cross mission and cares deeply about the patients receiving Red Cross blood products. He has been known to talk to hospital customers at all hours of the day or night and provide a level of service that everyone considers superior in every way. He will leave no stone unturned in order to find the correct answer, especially where donor or patient safety is concerned. He interfaces with many regional departments throughout the day and evening: IRL, manufacturing, quality assurance, collections and even some national functions such as the Donor Client Support Center on behalf of the region and the division.

Also recognized with Spirit of Excellence Awards for their work performance and achievements:

Christine (Chrissy) Andrews, Operations Supervisor, Wheeling, W. Va., joined the Red Cross in 2000 as a charge nurse and was later promoted to the collections supervisor position. Andrews oversees blood drive operations in north central West Virginia and in eastern Ohio and dispatches staff from Morgantown and Wheeling. She often leads in the planning and coordination of large blood drives in her zone. She attends to every detail to include diagramming the site, planning equipment and supply usage, staffing and site flow to ensure the staff and donors are satisfied with their experience. She is often counted on to perform tasks associated with recruitment, collections, facilities management, vendor communications and community relations. She aids in the development of the people who work with her by helping to develop their communications skill through coaching, mentoring and modeling.

Cheryl Gergely, Communications Manager, Huntington, W. Va., joined the Red Cross in 1985 as a donor resources field representative and was later appointed supervisor, telemarketing and communications. Gergely represents the American Red Cross both in front of the camera and behind a microphone with clear, concise and accurate communications in the most complex situations. She has taken the organization’s message to the next generation by leading the region’s Twitter account development and leading regional implementation plans regarding passage of laws permitting 16-year-olds to donate blood in Ohio and West Virginia. In addition to her regional responsibilities, she also serves as one of 12 regional communicators who back up the Red Cross Biomedical Headquarters External Communications Department.

Lisa Lehman, Technician II, Quarantine & Labeling, Johnstown, Pa. This 11-year veteran contributes to the Red Cross strategic priority of continually improving quality and compliance by helping to develop co-workers in the Manufacturing Department. Serving as a trainer for new and incumbent staff members, she demonstrates knowledge, leadership, responsibility, compassion and dedication to her peers within the department. She models behavior that creates quality outcomes by using available policies and procedures, and as a result has had no problem events associated with her work for the past four years. She frequently offers suggestions for continuous quality improvement and increased productivity.

Wayne Wyar, Heritage Division IT Director, Johnstown, Pa., joined the Red Cross in 1984. This past year he was instrumental in implementing standardized IT processes while maintaining good customer service across the five Red Cross blood regions in the Heritage Division. He ensured adequate equipment and  staffing resources were available during the division’s BioArch R1 implementation and was involved, system wide, in trouble shooting and problem-solving the project's technical issues. The Heritage Division was the first of seven Divisions to implement the R1 project.