“That is a great contribution for this area, and if it weren’t for you guys we would not have enough blood to supply the Cartersville Medical Center and we’d have to go somewhere else to get it and we don’t want to do that. We don’t want to do that,” she said to the group of plant managers, human resource managers and nurses. “We want to support the community, and you guys make up a lot of that for us, and thank you so much.”
As a company, Shaw donated more than 5,000 pints of blood to Blood Assurance. Those numbers help hospitals meet the need for blood, Phillips said, and each pint can save up to three lives apiece. Phillips also said she appreciated Shaw’s assistance in organizing three or four drives every year.
“They, and all of the companies, allow us to come in and they host a blood drive for us. They allow us to come in and interrupt their work day, and allow their employees to give on their time — on the company’s time. So Shaw covers that, [and] allows them to give and then come back to work. That’s their contribution in allowing their employees to come out and give on their time,” she said.
After a short speech of thanks, Phillips asked the assembled managers from plants 11, 12, 13, 15, 62 and 94 how Blood Assurance could better work with the company to increase turnout at the blood drives. The group narrowed in on improving awareness and education through newsletters, email blasts, fliers and posters.
“One of the things we did at the other plant I was at to increase participation, is we went out and educated the associates on how giving blood is like a mini health screen, because employees didn’t know that when you take our blood, all the things you test for,” said Plant 15 Senior Human Resources Manager Karen Nebad. “... The different levels in our blood and the things that you can detect, and when we did that it was amazing. We probably got a 10 percent or a little bit more increase in participation. So I mean, I think that’s something that we should do.”
Other ideas floated to increase participation included instituting a point system to create friendly competition and providing free food and other giveaways.
Occupation Health Clerk for Cartersville Courtney Moss said she appreciated the help of Amy Covington, donor recruiter for Blood Assurance. Moss began working for Shaw full time in August after a corporate reshuffle of its nursing operations, and she said Covington’s assistance in setting up a recent blood drive helped her ease into her new role. As for her co-workers, Moss said their enthusiasm for donating blood is mixed.
“Some of them really like to do it. Some of them are hesitant. They don’t like the needles. They’re scared of the needles is usually the one that I get the most,” she said. “But when you educate them — some of them I have that are on my list every single time. They donate every time, so they’re obviously educated. ... But I think improving the education will give us better participation, definitely.”
For those interested in donating blood, or scheduling a blood drive, contact Blood Assurance at 1-800-962-0628 or visit www.bloodassurance.org. The Cartersville office is located at 921 Joe Frank Harris Parkway and can be reached at 770-334-3261.