Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. holds blood bank

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. holds blood bankEducation Supervisor Joyce DeHaven donates blood as part of the BTHS Blood Bank. Provided photo.

Giving back to the community is just something that Bradford-Tioga Head Start (BTHS), Inc. does. So when the opportunity presented itself, it made sense that its Employee Wellness Team would develop a way to incorporate employee wellness with the community.  

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. Board Member, Joann Ogden reminded Jody Thomas, executive director of BTHS, that her church, First United Methodist Church in Blossburg, holds several blood banks throughout the year. Those events are provided by the Community Blood Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York throughout the year. The idea of a hosting a blood bank was born.

Thomas shared the idea to the Employee Wellness Team and they quickly jumped on the idea. Lori Fessler, Health coordinator, anxiously dove into being the program’s coordinator for the Blood Bank. Then, the idea and criteria for being a blood donor was shared with all Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. staff. They were then asked to express their interest, to determine if BTHS could meet the number of 15-20 needed to hold a blood drive. Once that was met, BTHS committed to holding a Blood Bank at the All Staff Meeting on Jan. 21, and Lori began to schedule each employee. 

Lora Cope, Mobile Drive coordinator, PA-NY Region, Community Blood Bank of NWPA and WNY, Erie, Pa., was the Employee Wellness Team’s primary contact. Lora quickly formed a team for the Blood Bank who traveled on the snowy day prior to the staff meeting. They were on site and ready to go by 6 a.m.

Twenty-five BTHS staff were donors and 22 units of blood were collected. Each unit of blood can provide three services to other individuals. So in essence, 66 lives will be touched from the staff that donated blood. Donors were given a snack after their donation, a magnet for their car, and a t-shirt.

For more information on the Community Blood Bank, call Lora Cope at (570) 789-4026 or (814)-456-4206. 

Bradford-Tioga Head Start, Inc. is a program that offers state and federally funded programs for pregnant mothers, families and their children, newborn up to the age of five; this includes Early Head Start, Head Start, and Pre-K Counts services. 

For more information, call (570) 638-1400, visit www.bradfordtiogahs.org, or Follow them on Facebook. 

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