UBCO recognized for number of blood donations

Members of UBCO, based in Kelowna, were awarded for their efforts of increasing blood donations

UBCO members were recognized for their efforts in increasing the number of blood donations from students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The UBC Okanagan Partners for Life Team was recently awarded at the 2017 Canadian Blood Services Honouring Our Lifeblood ceremony, according to UBCO.

“In over three years, we have grown our donations pledge from 100 units of blood in 2014 to 500 units in 2017,” said Warren Brock, Partners for Life champion. “With assistance across the UBC Okanagan campus community, we have also supported the work of Canadian Blood Services with 1,000 volunteer hours annually.”

The Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life program works with companies, government agencies and community organizations to encourage people to donate blood, platelets and plasma as a group. The UBC Okanagan team was selected as the 2017 BC and Yukon regional representative for program excellence.

Donated blood and blood products can be used for a variety of medical treatments. Red blood cells are generally used for emergency care or surgeries, while platelets and plasma help cancer patients or those undergoing extensive surgery, according to UBCO.

Brock attributes much of the team’s success to effective partnerships with various campus groups including Athletics, the Alumni Office, and student blood and stem cell clubs. In particular, students from the School of Nursing have played an integral role in recruiting new blood donors as part of their program studies.

“We were pleased to honour UBC Okanagan with a national partnership award for increasing awareness among university students, faculty and staff about the need for more blood donors,” said Gayle Voyer, territory manager in Kelowna with Canadian Blood Services. “We hope this year’s honourees will inspire other Canadians to take action for Canadian patients in need.”

UBC Okanagan now hosts three to four blood donor clinics each year boosting the team’s ability to recruit new donors. Brock said they hope many new recruits will become lifelong donors, who contribute regularly to Canada’s blood supply and the team’s continued growth. The next on-campus clinics are scheduled for Sept. 27, Oct. 25 and Jan. 17.

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