“When STBTC shared with us that over the past several years, business-sponsored drives had dropped and employee donations at those drives had also declined, we knew the Chamber could help,” said Richard Perez, President and CEO of the chamber
San Antonio, Texas (PRWEB) June 16, 2016
Within days, San Antonio hospitals may have to begin postponing elective surgeries because of a low blood supply – and those who roll up their sleeves to donate have the power to turn the situation around.
This is why the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) to help drive home the importance of blood and blood component donation. The Chamber will be launching the “SA Business Challenge” campaign, inviting its member businesses to a friendly competition to encourage employees to donate this summer.
The Chamber will urge its members to host drives and aim to reach 20 percent participation among their employees. Organizations that reach and exceed the 20 percent goal by the end of the summer will get bragging rights and be honored with plaques at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center’s Donor Pavilion. Businesses taking up the challenge could significantly improve this summer’s blood supply.
“When STBTC shared with us that over the past several years, business-sponsored drives had dropped and employee donations at those drives had also declined, we knew the Chamber could help,” said Richard Perez, President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. “The blood supply in our area is a public health concern, and public health concerns affect the business community in San Antonio.”
The decline in blood donations is part of a national trend, with donations at a 30-year low across the United States. STBTC alone has seen a 21 percent drop in donations since 2012.
“Summer always is an especially tough time for blood donations because students are out of school and people are on vacation,” said Elizabeth Waltman, COO of STBTC. “But this summer is starting out especially challenging. Not only are we contending with the threat of the Zika virus, but there has been extraordinary usage of blood recently because of an increase in trauma and organ transplants.”
Waltman added the blood supply also affects our military community. “STBTC supplies blood to our military facilities in certain circumstances,” Waltman said. “The stability of the blood supply is far-reaching in our community.”
This includes economic development in our area.
“In order to protect our workforce and attract new businesses to San Antonio, we must have excellent health care available,” said Renée Flores, 2016 Chairman of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and Regional Vice President, External and Legislative Affairs for AT&T. “An adequate and safe blood supply is vital for any employer so that employees can have access to treatment that will help keep our workforces healthy. It’s especially critical as we seek to continue to support and grow the health care and bioscience sector in our city. It is in the best interest of the business community to step up and do its part.”
The Chamber is encouraging its member businesses to schedule blood drives with STBTC during the summer and encourage 20 percent participation of employees at those drives. The Chamber and STBTC will be using the hashtag #SAStepsUp during the campaign to spotlight participating businesses on social media.
“Our goal is to have our members make a dent in any blood shortage this summer. We all should be interested in supporting public health in our city,” Perez said.
Learn more about blood donation and schedule an appointment to give at SouthTexasBlood.org.
About the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce: The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has been propelling business success since 1894. As the largest business association in the region, the Chamber focuses on advocating on behalf of business at the local, state and federal level on pro-business legislation, collaborates with education institutions and organizations to build a stronger workforce for the future and provides a way for businesses of every size to build their network.
About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center that provides blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to more than 70 hospitals in 40 South Texas counties. It is the largest blood supplier in our region. STBTC has a proud 42-year history serving the South Texas community. The center operates under the auspices of BioBridge Global, a nonprofit organization comprising services for regenerative medicine and research including blood banking and resource management; cellular therapy; umbilical cord blood collection and storage; donated human tissue recovery and distribution for transplant; and testing of blood and plasma products to help patients in the United States and worldwide. STBTC has seven donor rooms in South Texas and conducts hundreds of mobile blood drives each year. Visit us at http://www.southtexasblood.org.