In a shining example of the “One Red Cross” concept, the Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region was selected as the recipient of the Susan Hassmiller Nursing Award and received a $5000 grant to help fund an initiative to promote African American blood donation.
Phillip Bovender, the Maryland State Nurse Liaison appointed by the Chief Nurse of the Red Cross, submitted the nomination following a tour of the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (IRL) with a group of Coppin State University nursing students. During the tour, the group learned about the critical need for matching blood types and the importance of boosting African American donations to treat sickle cell anemia patients. After learning about the uniqueness and disparity of African American blood donation, Bovender submitted a nomination for the award.
The award was established in 2007 by former Board of Governors member, Susan Hassmiller, to enhance Red Cross local service delivery capacity through the increased engagement of nurses in policy, leadership and service delivery positions. Bovender’s application proposed a symposium for nursing and public health leaders on healthcare disparity to address the need for increasing the African American donor pool, a poster contest and production of high school and college educational materials.
The award was presented at the 2013 Red Cross Leadership Award Dinner on October 23rd in Washington, DC.