Interpreting the STEM Academy Mobile Blood Drive

Mar 10, 2017 | Kimberly Schmidt | @kimberlyd


Interpreting the STEM Academy Mobile Blood Drive Najma Haji Salad is a Somali interpreter for Mayo Clinic. She was scheduled to help translate during the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Academy’s mobile blood drive to meet the needs of its diverse student body. She was so inspired by the excitement of the students that she too decided to donate that day.

“I’m a full-time mom, wife, and I have a full-time job, but I still make time to donate,” says Najma. “Life goes in a circle; you don’t know when you or a family member may need blood. So it’s important to give. Plus, the cookies are awesome!”

Diverse Blood Supply

“There is a need for blood from minority populations,” says Justin Kreuter, M.D., Medical Director of the Blood Donor Program. “For medical reasons, it’s important to have diversity represented in our donor center because we have a a very international patient population.”

As an example, Dr. Kreuter states, “Only about 1% of Caucasian blood donors match the red-blood-cell surface of patients of African descent. This is especially problematic when supporting African Americans with sickle cell disease because they may require a significant amount of matched blood.”

When it comes to blood, every ethnic group has something special to offer. Dr. Kreuter adds, “We have a Rare Donor Program in the United States that shares the rarest of blood types with patients most in need. However, each year, a number of these requests go unfulfilled. Our diverse patient population needs an equally diverse blood donor community!”

Thank you to both the STEM Academy for hosting a blood drive and also to Najma for her ongoing contributions.

How to Donate For more information about donating blood in Olmsted County in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email For more information about the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center, visit or like the center on Facebook.


Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Blood Donor Program blog.

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