Former U. S. Surgeon General Asks Luncheon Attendees to Do Their Part to Increase Blood Donations

April 19, 2010

Pictured (l-r): Randy Edwards, CEO, American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region; Cecilia Houston-Torrence, Federal Home Loan Bank and chair, Minority Recruitment Advisory Board, American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region; Cheryl Bobbit, AT&T and co-chair, Minority Recruitment Advisory Board, American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General and director, The Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine.ATLANTA - On Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, the Minority Recruitment Advisory Board for the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region hosted its ninth annual Minority Recruitment Luncheon. The luncheon took place at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel and was sponsored by the Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. This year’s luncheon recognized key people and organizations throughout the minority community that have helped to raise awareness of the need for increased blood collection among minority groups.

Dr. David Satcher, former Surgeon General of the United States and director of The Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, served as this year’s keynote speaker. Dr. Satcher discussed various health disparities throughout the world today and encouraged the audience to do their part to raise awareness, dismiss the myths and progress towards finding solutions to combating these issues and increasing blood donations.

“This year’s luncheon was a testament to the dedication of the countless businesses and community organizations that have helped increase awareness in the community on the importance of continued blood donations,” said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. “It is through the commitment of our blood donors, sponsor groups and Minority Recruitment Advisory Boards in Atlanta, Columbus and Macon that we are able to help ensure that blood is available to patients who depend on life-saving blood transfusions.”

Blood is a community resource to be contributed to and shared by all. As steward for nearly half the nation’s blood supply, the American Red Cross relies on volunteer blood donors to ensure a safe and steady blood supply for the community. African American communities have a higher percentage of donors with Type O or Type B blood, commonly the first blood types to drop to critically low levels during a shortage. Because only about one percent of African Americans in the state of Georgia are blood donors, larger numbers of African American donors are greatly needed to help supply these crucial blood types and support the community blood supply.