Friends of Strong, URMC Recognized for Unparalleled Support of Red Cross Blood Drives
In recognition of their long-standing commitment and sponsorship of blood drives throughout the Medical Center, Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital are the 2019 recipients of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross’ Samuel J. Stabins Award—an honor made possible in large part because of the extended support and participation of URMC faculty, staff, students, volunteers and guests who step up to give at the dozens of blood drives hosted at URMC each year.
“We’re incredibly honored to present the 2019 Samuel J. Stabins Blood Services award to Friends of Strong,” said James Love, executive director of the American Red Cross Greater Rochester Chapter. “Friends of Strong has gone above and beyond in their support of our blood services and biomedical services program, efforts for which we are deeply appreciative.”
Since March 2006, Friends of Strong has sponsored 433 blood drives at various URMC facilities across the greater Rochester Area, allowing the American Red Cross to collect 23,972 red blood units, which have gone on to save the lives of more than 72,000 people in our community.
From NICU babies, to trauma victims and people battling cancer; these are just some of our neighbors who depend on blood donations as part of their life-saving care at Strong Memorial Hospital. Without the continued commitment displayed by Friends of Strong, the Red Cross could not meet the needs of local patients.
“It’s a great honor for us to receive this award from the American Red Cross. Our hospital uses more blood products than any other provider in our region, so it is only appropriate that Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester help raise more donations than any other organization in our area,” said Kathy Parrinello, chief operating officer of SMH. “My heart is warmed when I hear the number of our employees, our faculty, their families and our community members that come to Strong to donate blood in our blood drives. I’m so very thankful to each of them for contributing to this important cause.”
In speaking with his staff, Love said it was overwhelmingly clear that Friends of Strong, for their incredible support of the blood donation program, is a most-fitting recipient of the 2019 award, emphasizing that their significant contributions help ensure blood supplies are maintained at an elevated level so that they’re available and ready to use each and every day.
Friends of Strong sees it as a responsibility—sponsoring every blood drive at URMC—partly because Strong is the largest user of blood donation products in our region. While the Red Cross must collect 13,000 units of blood daily to meet the needs of patients who rely on these life-saving products nationally, our local region must collect 750 units daily to meet the needs of nearly 100 hospitals.
The American Red Cross cannot meet these needs without a strong network and commitment of donors, volunteers, community partners all working closely together to meet these goals. The Samuel J. Stabins Blood Services Award is presented to a donor, volunteer, or organization that has been unwavering in their support of the local American Red Cross blood services program.
“More than anything, I want to thank our URMC community who step up to donate this most critically important resource, as well as our partners at the Red Cross who work with us day in and day out to make each of our blood drives a success,” said Sandy Arbasak, director of the Friends of Strong. “It’s a great honor to have such a supportive community that sees the value and makes the selfless choice to participate in our blood drives.”
Pictured above, from left: Kathy Parrinello, SMH COO, accepts the Stabins Award on behalf of Friends of Strong; with James Love, American Red Cross Rochester Chapter executive director. Photo courtesy of Daniel DeLucenay Photography.
Matt Ulakovic |