Donating Blood Makes Everyday Heroes

Renown employees step up to give the gift of life and encourage others to do the same.

For Jesse Montero, the decision to give blood was an easy one.

His son, Aden, was admitted to Renown Regional Medical Center to undergo an emergency appendectomy on Feb. 2. While venturing around the hospital waiting for his son to come out of surgery, he saw a sign for the latest Community Blood Drive. He decided to donate on the spot.

Jesse Montero donates blood during the Feb. 28 drive at Renown Regional Medical Center. His son’s emergency appendectomy and subsequent need for blood motivated him to donate.

Jesse Montero donates blood during the Feb. 28 drive at Renown Regional Medical Center. His son’s emergency appendectomy and subsequent need for blood motivated him to donate.

“My son had an emergency, so I know how important this is,” says  Montero, a Yerrington resident, while donating at the drive. “I wanted him to know that he wasn’t the only one who had to ‘get stuck.’” Touchingly, Montero adds that he also wanted to be a hero, much like his son who was in the hospital.

That idea of being a hero for donating blood is a big part of the United Blood Services (UBS) campaign to encourage more people to donate. And Renown Health employees regularly step up as blood donation heroes at the six blood drives held every year at various Renown locations throughout the community. Hundreds of employees, their family members and the public all line up to give this precious gift of life for patients in their time of need.

Marcie Dennis knows first-hand the power of a blood drive. Not only is she the longtime chairperson of the Blood Drive Committee at Renown, she is also the Clinical Lab Supervisor at Renown South Meadows Medical Center. “It makes sense that the lab would lead the committee, since we see the benefits of the drive through the blood products we use every day,” Dennis explains.

There are 10 employees on the current committee from different areas of the health network. This group organizes the blood drives, which feature incentives such as free movie tickets and chances to win raffles organized by UBS. They are also busy recruiting donors, both face to face and through publicity campaigns.

At left, Michelle Czarka, Marketing Business Partner at Renown, talks with Amanda Price, phlebotomist with United Blood Services, during the blood drive on Feb. 28. Czarka has made it a point to give blood throughout her life. This donation marks her second Renown Drive.

At left, Michelle Czarka, Marketing Business Partner at Renown, talks with Amanda Price, phlebotomist with United Blood Services, during the blood drive on Feb. 28. Czarka has made it a point to give blood throughout her life. This donation marks her second Renown Drive.

And it’s not just employees they are hoping roll up their sleeves to donate. Dennis notes that employees at neighboring businesses and the public are all welcome to donate at the Renown events.

With a strong showing from employees and the community, donations have averaged between 100 and 150 units per drive for the past few years.

Dennis would love for there to be more. “We’re not just looking for an adequate supply — we want an abundant supply,” she says. “Even though there are donations during a crisis, we will always need to replenish what is being used.”

Cheryl Yano, Dennis’ coworker and a Clinical Lab Scientist at Renown South Meadows, tries to donate at each drive. Although she jokes that she “doesn’t have the best veins,” she adds that she donates to “do something not only for Renown, but for other people.”

Todd Nicholas, a Financial Systems Administrator with Renown, also donated at the recent blood drive in February. He aims to donate at least four times a year. “I do it just to give back,” he explains. “I think it just shows that we are all members of our community and should support it.”

Renown Health holds six community blood drives a year at locations across the health network.

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