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Thu, Nov 29 11:32am · Meet the Team: Marketing and Recruitment Team in Blood Donor Program

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The members of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program’s Marketing and Recruitment Team—Jackie O’Reilly, Kim Schmidt, and Katy Maeder —would like to give you a glimpse of their specific roles and of the strengths that each one brings to their well-rounded team. They all fully recognize that there is no “I” in an effective team, which is why they work so well together and complement one another’s individual strengths.

Networking, critical thinking, strategic planning, and relationship building are a large part of the team members’ job descriptions as representatives of the Blood Donor Program. Their mission is to share about the need for blood product with anyone they come into contact with, whether it is inside Mayo Clinic, with colleagues, or within the community, so that Mayo Clinic will always have an adequate blood supply on hand for patients in need. Read on to get to know each team member a little better.

Jackie

Jackie is the analytical one on the team, always looking ahead to improve any process and willing to try new ideas. With a background in event planning, Jackie keeps her teammates on their toes with her organizational and planning skills. Jackie enjoys the community engagement aspect of her role, which includes participating in local events, meaningful interactions with community members, and networking with local leaders. Most of all, Jackie is a storyteller. She delights in sharing heartwarming stories of blood donation recipients with various local audiences.

Kim

With 35 years of service to Mayo, it is nearly impossible for Kim to walk through the subways without acknowledging and greeting her many friends, acquaintances, and past colleagues who she has had the privilege to work with. Relationship building is one of her greatest strengths in this role. When she is posed with a question related to her role, she usually has someone come to mind who she can tap for the answer. She is also all about smiling—when you smile at someone, it’s contagious. She considers it a joy to be able to come to work each day to do all she can to reach others, inviting them to donate blood to help save patient lives.

Katy

Katy brings a creative edge to the Marketing and Recruitment Team. With previous marketing experience, she has helped to transform the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program brand. Katy enjoys working on social media content, brainstorming different community campaigns, and networking over a cup (or two) of coffee. While she has only been at Mayo Clinic for a little over a year, she fits in just right with the team. Can’t you tell from the picture?

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You may find any one of them (or perhaps all three) scurrying through the subway to her next presentation to meet someone who is willing to share their blood donation story.

The next time you see Jackie, Kim, or Katy in the skyways or byways, please feel free to stop and visit. They are always looking to improve their program for the sake of saving patient lives. They also love to hear your remarkable stories.

 

Wed, Aug 29 12:39pm · Meet the Team: Jacci in Blood Donor Program

Meet the team - Jacci

Of the 28 years of service to Mayo Clinic, Jacci has devoted the past 13 to our blood donors at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center as one of our seasoned technicians. When asked what it is that she enjoys most about her position, Jacci shares, “I learn something new every day from speaking with our donors. It’s amazing where a 20-minute conversation can take you.” Jacci’s joy in her work shines through those interactions not only by taking her into her donors’ lives, but also because they are able to catch a glimpse of her personal life outside of work through their delightful conversations. Her caring spirit and beautiful personality are common threads that weave together the blood donor family at Mayo Clinic.

Artistic, selfless, and witty are just a few words to describe Jacci outside of work:

Jaccis drawings

Artistic: When asked if she had any hidden talents or hobbies that she enjoyed, Jacci shared, “This winter, my daughter encouraged me to start doing art again. I hadn’t done any artwork since college and wasn’t sure I would be able to pick it up again. I practiced drawing our grandchildren. After posting the drawings to Facebook, I was surprised to receive requests to draw other people’s children and grandchildren, and I’ve been busy drawing portraits ever since. I’ve had a lot of fun with it!”

Selfless: Some of Jacci’s most precious interests outside of work are her children and her grandbabies. She thoroughly enjoys spending as much time as she can watching her “little grands” grow up before her eyes. She recently spent a week in Southern California in her old stomping grounds. “I love being on the beaches,” Jackie shares.

Witty: When she has free time outside of these activities, Jacci may be found with her nose in a good book, bringing smiles to the readers of her blog, and sipping on high-end, high-caffeine lattes.

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Mon, Jun 11 12:26pm · Recovering from Tragic Accident . . . No Walk in the Park in Blood Donor Program

Robyn

On February 20, 1995, Robyn’s life was altered forever. A leisurely drive into work suddenly turned for the worse when she was rear-ended by another driver. Luckily, she did not suffer any substantial injuries from the accident, but when an officer arrived on the scene and asked Robyn to exit her vehicle to write up his report, it was in that instant that her story changed drastically. Unfortunately, a second car struck her throwing Robyn into the front of the vehicle parked behind hers. “When the second driver tried to back up, my left leg got caught on his license plate and dragged me 10 feet,” says Robyn.

Ending up with two broken legs and a hairline fracture to her pelvic bone, Robyn wasn’t the only one her family was concerned about following the accident. She was also six months pregnant at the time, which meant she couldn’t receive any pain medication upon arrival to the hospital until the staff could safely assess her baby’s condition. Over the course of the next three days, Robyn had three surgeries at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

That April following the tragic accident, Robyn gave birth (while in traction) to a healthy baby boy she and her husband named Travis.

Over the past 20 years, Robyn has undergone multiple surgeries. Because of the damage inflicted upon her body through this traumatic experience and many surgeries throughout the years, Robyn shares that she has received approximately 15 units of blood.

Even though more surgeries lay ahead for her continuing recovery, Robyn feels grateful. Her outlook is a positive one, because she doesn’t see any good in being down about her situation. Instead, she wants to thank those who’ve donated blood. “Without the generous blood donors, there would not have been blood available for me or my son,” she says. “I am very, very lucky.”

Robyn donating

Robyn recently became aware of the blood donation eligibility guideline that allows persons who’ve had blood transfusions in the past to donate one year post-transfusion. So, she has decided to donate blood for the first time. “I am very grateful that someone donated when I needed blood. If it wasn’t for those people who donated in my time of need, my son and I probably wouldn’t be here today. Now, it is my turn to return the favor and donate for someone else,” Robyn shares gratefully.

To read more stories like this go to Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program’s Blog Page.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our web page at http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

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May 24, 2017 · Flying High Following a Traumatic Experience in Blood Donor Program

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MJ and Amaya accompany their mom, Amber, aboard Mayo One and say “Thank You” to Tim and Tricia.

We say it all the time—Count your blessings.

Scurrying to the top of the Mary Brigh Building to the Mayo helipad, little MJ (age 5) and Amaya (age 2) excitedly accompanied their mother for a tour of the Mayo One helicopter and to meet two of the crew members who saved Amber’s life: Tim Alden, R.N., and Tricia Riggott, Flight Paramedic.

On September 26, 2014, Amber was overdue for the delivery of her little girl, and she was admitted to the hospital at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, Minnesota. Following her doctor’s decision for an emergency C-section, Amber welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world. But due to further complications, Amber experienced massive bleeding and required an emergency hysterectomy. She lost five liters of blood and was immediately given a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, Amber’s body wasn’t able to cope with the blood loss. So Mayo Clinic’s emergency helicopter, Mayo One, had to transport Amber from Red Wing to nearby Rochester.

While en route, Mayo One’s crew transfused two more units of blood and three units of plasma to Amber. When she arrived at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, doctors realized Amber was still bleeding internally. She was rushed into surgery—her second emergency surgery within 12 hours. In all, Amber received thirty units of blood, and her entire body’s blood supply was replenished four times.

 

 

The staff members of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program are continually working to raise awareness within our community about the ever-present need for blood products for our patients. We asked the Mayo Clinic Trauma 1 Center staff if they would join us in spreading the word, and they, of course, were all on board.

Having shared Amber’s story a few years ago, we thought it would be interesting to catch up with Amber today. Since May is National Trauma Awareness Month, what better time than now.

 

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“I am truly grateful to everyone who takes the time out of their day to donate blood,” says Amber. “They played a huge role in saving my life, and my goal is to return the favor by at least replacing the 30 units that I received.”

Amber also says, “I’m blessed to be here and continue to be a mother to my ‘kiddos.’ It was an awesome day and experience. MJ and Amaya were able to meet Tim and Tricia, who provided me outstanding care during one of the worst times of my life.”

Schedule an Appointment to Donate Today
Here’s how you can schedule an appointment:

  • Call the Blood Donor Center in Rochester at (77)4-4475 (Hilton Building) or (77)5-4359 (Joseph Building).
  • Email donateblood@mayo.edu.

Stay Connected with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center
For up-to-date information about blood-product needs and other ways you can volunteer at the Blood Donor Center in Rochester, visit the Blood Donor Center blog, the Blood Donor Center website, join the center’s internal Yammer group, and/or like the center on Facebook.

May 22, 2017 · iHeartRadio Interview Shares about Trauma Awareness Month in Blood Donor Program

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On a May 14 iHeartRadio program, host Julie Jones (far left) interviewed Mayo Clinic Flight Paramedic Tricia Riggott from Mayo’s Trauma 1 Center, and Recruitment Coordinator Kim Schmidt (far right) from Mayo’s Blood Donor Program in Rochester, Minnesota. The trio discussed that May is National Trauma Awareness Month and that there is always a constant need for blood donors. The interview appeared on local radio stations Laser 101.7 (KRCH-FM) and 102.5 The Fox (KMFX-FM).

During the interview, Julie asked Tricia about Mayo One and the importance of having enough blood product on hand for them to carry with them to trauma situations. Tricia said, “You know, Mayo Clinic can purchase safe, advanced helicopters. We can also recruit and hire the best flight paramedics and nurses, and we can purchase the newest cutting-edge medical equipment, but for many trauma patients, survival ultimately depends on getting the blood that they need back into their bodies.”

Kim also shared, “Our data shows that 35.9% of the patients who receive blood products from us are trauma patients . . . and a lot of local hospitals do not have blood products on hand. Mayo One is sort of a ‘blood bank in the sky’ for these patients and hospitals in need.”

A special thank you to Julie Jones and iHeartRadio for inviting us to share our need on their Sunday morning program.

May 17, 2017 · Radiology Blood Donation Challenge Is Huge Success in Blood Donor Program

Ultra Donors Winning Team Unit Challenge

After inquiring about how to organize a department-wide Blood Donation Challenge for Mayo Clinic patients, the Mayo Radiology Department quickly formed seven teams (with very clever team names) to compete against one another in this friendly competition.

Team Champion Kate Knoll shares, “The Ultrasound Department accepted the challenge to participate in the Radiology Department-wide Blood Donation Challenge. Our department provides diagnostic exams for patients of all ages throughout the campus with a wide variety of medical needs. Our team was more than eager to participate in this challenge, as it is an easy way we can all help the patients we see every day. Participants in the challenge were regular blood donors, some who hadn’t donated in a while, as well as multiple first-time donors. A challenge such as this was a great opportunity to have a friendly competition, while helping those in need. You never know who might need the gift of blood.”

At the end of the 18-week competition, the “competitors” collectively donated 137 blood products, which equates to potentially saving more than 400 patient lives.  Thank you, Department of Radiology, for hosting such a successful Blood Donation Challenge.

If your organization or work unit is interested in having a Blood Donor Challenge, contact Blood Donor Recruitment Coordinator Kim Schmidt at (507) 266-2382 or Jackie O’Reilly at (507) 284-9831.

Apr 24, 2017 · Hematology "Donation Challenge" Makes a Difference in Patient Lives in Blood Donor Program

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This post was written by Amy Phelps, Research Study Specialist, and Monica Brennan, R.N., in the Hematology Division at Mayo Clinic:

We work in Hematology where a lot of our patients are in need of blood. By hosting department Blood Donation Challenges, this is a great way for us to show support to our patients along with anyone who needs blood or blood products. It is a fun and friendly challenge within our work group. If colleagues cannot personally donate blood, they recruit family members or friends to donate in their place, which can really help to get the competition going and include more people outside of our department.

We try to host two to three challenges each year, which makes us all feel good knowing that we have done something extra for our patients.

Apr 20, 2017 · Blood Challenge Competition Touches Many Patient Lives in Blood Donor Program

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In a true caring and compassionate spirit, the Division of Pediatrics has successfully completed another blood donor challenge. For the past two years, the Pediatric Division has collaborated with Mayo Clinic’s Blood Donor Program to save approximately 350 lives. This friendly competition is multidisciplinary, including staff members from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), General Pediatrics (Fr3C/2B), Mayo Sub-Specialty Clinics, Child Life, and Children’s R & R. Staff members are encouraged to support this endeavor and recruit their family and friends to donate.

The Division of Pediatrics was also creative in developing team names to represent each work area:

PICU: “PICU Platelets”  used the motto, “We stick together!”

Mayo 16: “Sleeves Up, Feet Up”

Gen Peds: “Peds Pints”

Child Life: “Poker Players”

R&R: “R&R Pints”

This last year was quite exciting as Team “Sleeves Up, Feet Up” thought it had the win by saving the most lives, when “Team Poker Players” took the lead in the last few days of the challenge. While the challenge is a friendly competition to engage staff and foster teamwork, it truly emphasizes the power of giving as the staff completed the challenge that ran between October and December 2016.

The goal of initiating these challenges is to inspire blood donation, volunteerism, and teamwork to our pediatric patients, families, and loved ones. The challenge has given staff the opportunity to come together as a collaborative team to serve the needs of others living out our Mayo Clinic values.