Maybe you can't give blood, but you really want to help out.
Maybe you can give blood, but you want to do more for
Miller-Keystone Blood Center. Either way, a financial contribution
to the blood center is a great way to help your community!
As a non-profit organization, Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC) relies on the generosity of community businesses and individuals to help us achieve our goals and remain true to our mission statement. We face the enormous challenge of maintaining a safe and adequate community blood supply to serve the patients in our region. The public demands an absolutely safe blood supply and MKBC is committed to providing the safest blood products possible. The federal government mandates that blood centers implement new technology and equipment as they become available. Out-of-date technology and equipment must be replaced on a relatively continual basis. This new equipment guarantees the safety of the blood supply as well as operating in the most cost effective and productive manner possible.
Above all, we are privileged to have volunteer blood donors
who roll up their sleeves to provide the community with
the gift of life, and we remain grateful to all the
volunteers who donate their time or talent to ensure a
safe and productive blood center.
Development Project/Activity Updates
We would like to take this opportunity to update you on some exciting projects taking place here at Miller-Keystone Blood Center (MKBC)!
- Molecular Blood Genotyping: In order to be able to successfully provide quality blood products to ALL those in need in our vast community, MKBC must work to build a local rare blood library comprised of donations from volunteer donors with genetic backgrounds. Such an inventory will be used to meet the needs of patients in our 25 area hospitals being treated for blood diseases, such as *sickle cell disease and **thalassemia. To meet this challenge, MKBC must purchase specific molecular blood genotyping equipment that uses genetic sequencing to predict blood group genotype. In short, we must be able to determine the presence or absence of a specific gene that, if present, will greatly increase the positive results of blood transfusion therapy for patients with blood diseases requiring multiple and continuous transfusions to support patient health and survival.
- Sickle Cell Anemia disease is caused by an abnormal type of hemoglobin called hemoglobin S, which is a protein inside red blood cells that carries oxygen. Hemoglobin S changes the shape of red blood cells, especially when the cells are exposed to low oxygen levels. The red blood cells become shaped like crescents or sickles and deliver less oxygen to the body's tissues.
- Thalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. The disorder results in excessive destruction of red blood cells, which leads to anemia.
Molecular blood genotyping is a type of DNA testing that uses genetic sequences to predict blood group genotype. This type of testing detects genetic variations and the presence or absence of an Rh gene. While the current, widely-used method of blood typing, serological testing, determines blood type (A, B, AB or O) and Rh factor (positive or negative), it does not detect the presence or absence of genetic variants that may adversely affect blood compatibility with recipients.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is one of the most cost-effective and thus, one of the most commonly used means of molecular genotyping. This process replicates DNA. Any genetic variations are amplified by PCR and, therefore, easier to detect. Probes or dyes are often used to help identify variations.
Thank you to those who helped underwrite this project thus far:
- Picture-ID: A computer software application that will interface with SafeTrace (the blood center’s current donor database) will capture the blood donor’s fingerprint characteristics onto our donor database and ensure exact, correct and appropriate linkage of donor to donor record.
Fingerprint scanners will capture the unique characteristics of volunteer donors’ fingerprints and translate that information into a mathematical equation that directly links with the donors’ record. With this process, there will be no possibility of aligning a donor with an incorrect donor and that persons history.
The software maps the minutiae points in relative placement on the finger and encodes that information into a character string based on an algorithm that will be unique to each donor. No image of the fingerprint is stored, only a set of data that can be used for verification. In addition, donors uncomfortable with using their fingerprint for identification may still utilize photo identification or a blood donor card – Picture-ID is compatible with and equally accepts these means of verification.
Picture-ID is a new biometrics, web services-based, blood donor identity verification software that incorporates a donor electronic health history questionnaire.
- It positively verifies donor identity using fingerprint, date of birth and gender and then matches the identified donor to their picture on file. Social security numbers will no longer need to be stored or utilized on the donor’s record.
- Visit-eligible donors are presented with an electronic donor history questionnaire form (DHQ).
- After the donor completes all the questions, the DHQ can be electronically signed and the donor may proceed with regular donation processes including pre-donation health screening and then blood donation.
Picture-ID supports multi-lingual text display and donor’s digital signature to enable a paperless process. The completed donor-signed DHQ is used by qualified and trained blood center staff, according to MKBC standard operating procedures, to interview the donor in a secured confidential area. The interviewer can then comment on the DHQ document and take necessary actions, such as taking vitals, determining donation eligibility and recording information on the donor’s Medical History Card (MHC). The process is seamless and efficient and ensures fewer errors are made by registration staff during donor check-in and addresses MKBC’s overall objective to ensure we properly identify the donor and properly link the donor to their database records within our system. Accurate records help to ensure a safe blood. Safety is paramount and every unit counts.
- "My Blood, Your Blood" Educational Program (MBYB):It is with sincere enthusiasm that we update you on the further expansion of our MBYB educational program, which has rapidly spread throughout Northampton, Lehigh, Montgomery, Chester, Carbon, Philadelphia, Upper Bucks, Schuylkill, and Berks Counties. Upon completion of the MBYB program, students and teachers fill out post-surveys that are designed to determine MBYB’s overall impact. We are then able to assess whether or not changes need to be made to ensure that future program goals are met.
Data collected from MBYB 2011-2012 pre and post-presentation surveys indicate that the program is a success in achieving our goals. Results from the pre-survey questions given before the presentation indicated that many of the students, including all ages, did not know several key aspects about blood and donating. Of the 26+ schools/community groups, 1,800+ students surveyed, 15.7 percent of students didn’t know that there were different blood types. With the MBYB program, we are aiming to decrease those numbers and trying to educate the youth of blood biology and the importance of blood donations to our community.
The post-survey questions displayed outstanding results, proving that the presentation had a positive impact on the majority of students participating. When asked if the MBYB presentation was effective in understanding the importance of donating blood, 61 percent of students surveyed thought it was very effective, and an exceptional 35.6 percent felt it was at least somewhat effective. This inspired students so much so that they indicated they would go home and encourage others to give the gift of life by donating blood. The most prevalent student comment was that our program made them realize that one blood donation can save up to three lives.
Since our role is so critical to community well-being, it is imperative that MKBC be able to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply at all times; MBYB assists in this mission by allowing us to:
- Potentially recruit a wide range of future blood donors – a requisite task to ensure that future generations always have access to life-saving blood products.
- Provide an outlet for which MKBC is able to give back to the community by providing educational enrichment that reinforces the curriculum being taught at our area schools.
- Mold and inform stewards of our community blood supply – MBYB gives students the tools to not only consider blood donation when they become of age, but also to encourage those around them to donate blood.
- Create community partnerships by promoting collaboration – most notably our ability to expand mobile collections by hosting blood drives at the schools in which we present MBYB.
MBYB visits for the upcoming school year are already being scheduled and will continue to be offered on a rolling basis throughout the duration of the 2011-2012 school year and offered throughout the year to community youth groups. Cost per program: approximately $800.
- Endowment Fund: A few years ago we launched a campaign to raise the initial seed money to kick off the endowment fund, which serves as an important resource to ensure the continued viability of our organization. All gifts to our endowment fund through the purchase of a leaf, butterfly or tree trunk plaque is a gift to your community over and over again. All monies deposited in this fund are invested and continue to grow. The interest on this money is available to use for pressing service programs and technology needs, but the money you donate stays intact. There can be no more rewarding gift than knowing that you will be ensuring that your community Blood Center will always be here.
Save the Dates:
- January 7, 2013: START VOTING for Miller-Keystone Blood Center! The CITGO Fueling Good program gives away $120,000 in Gift Cards to charities, lending a hand to ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things for their communities. Twelve charities will win. With everyone’s vote WE could be one of those twelve winners! Please go to the following link to cast your vote: http://fuelinggood.com/rewardinggood?id=1289573
- February 7, 2013: FIRST FIRKIN @ Bethlehem Brew Works at 5:00pm for Charity Cask Night!!!!This is a non-profit support fundraiser hosted by The Brew Works. They will tap one of their famous micro-brew kegs and 100% of the proceeds from the beer purchased out of that keg will benefit the Miller-Keystone Blood Center. Stop by for some food, fun and laughs! There will also be raffle prizes as well!
- May 10, 2013: Cruise to the Greek Isles Aboard the LifeLine -- Honorary Captain: Anne Baum, Capital BlueCross
If you are interested in making a contribution to any of the above projects,
please contact the Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
or you can conveniently make a safe and secure
monetary contribution from our web site by clicking here.
Your Donation. Your Community. Your Blood Center.