Live chat with Red Cross Executive Director Julie Barr-Strasburg - transcript

November 08, 2005

The Herald-Mail will present a live chat with Red Cross Executive Director Julie Barr-Strasburg today, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. Questions or comments can be submitted by clicking here before and during the chat.

Name: Cas Kriechbaum, III

Location: Hagerstown, MD

Guest: Barr-Strasburg

Question: I would like, very much, to know the date/time/location of the closest Red Cross Bloodmobile Drive location to my residence. I live on Wakefield Road. I had been a regular donater in my previous town of Waynesboro, PA (at the American Legion). But, since my move to Hagerstown, MD - I have been disconnected. I would like to restart my blood donations. If it's any help, the Red Cross facility that conducted the donations was the Johnstown (PA)office. Thank-you, Cas

Barr-Strasburg: Thanks so much for your inquiry. Please call 1-800-54-BLOOD. Dial 0 for operator. They will direct you to a blood mobile closest to your residence. The Washington County Chapter conducts over 320 blood drives a year in Washington County. We rely on the dedication of our blood donors to make sure the blood supply is available for patients in Washington County. Thank you.


Name: Daniel Moeller

Location: Rohrersville

Guest: Barr-Strasburg

Question: 1. How many pints of blood did the Red Cross sell to the federal government in the last three years and how much money did the federal government pay the Red Cross for this blood?

2. What is the Red Cross doing to educate K-12 students in Washington County Public Schools so that these students will be predisposed to donate blood?

3. How much does the Red Cross pay you?

4. Does the Red Cross have any stockpiles of water, food, and clothing in Washington County for immediate availability in the event of a local emergency?

5. How many Washington County residents were helped by the Red Cross during CY 2004?

6. When will artificial blood replace the need for human blood donations?

Barr-Strasburg: In response to question 1, I do not know the answer to your question but can find out and report back to you this information. To be honest with you I've never received this type of question regarding blood collections for the federal government. Blood collected in counties is typically provided at a cost to hospitals for patient needs. The cost to collect, process, recruit and distribute blood and blood products continually changes.

In response to question 2, The Washington County Chapter has developed an aggressive blood collection program in the Washington County high schools. It is estimated that high school students ages 16 to 18 donate 23 percent of all blood collected in our county. Currently the majority of high schools conduct three blood drives per year. I believe this is an awesome response from our young people and hopefully they will continue to be blood donors as adults. In addition Red Cross staff have been partnering with PTAs in the middle and elementary schools to encourage parents to become blood donors. This initiative has been successful.

In response to question 3, As a 25-year employee of the American Red Cross my salary is $43,000.

In response to question 4, the local chapter of the American Red Cross has been a partner with many emergency relief organizations since our conception in 1917. Currently we have cots and blankets and shelter supplies strategically located throughout Washington County. County fire stations and community buildings in outlying communities are ready to respond to a local disaster if called upon. In addition we have agreements with restaurants, hotels, stores and faith-based organizations that would provide disaster assistance in cooperation and coordination with the American Red Cross. Since Hurricane Katrina county relief organizations met at the Red Cross Headquarters to discuss and plan for a potential catastrophic disaster in Washington County. An example would be if Washington, D.C., would have to evacuate and send people to Washington County for shelter. Disaster preparedness and planning is an ongoing exercise.

In response to question 5, I know statistically during fiscal year 2004-05 we assisted close to 32,000 individuals. These individuals received CPR, First Aid, water safety training, donated blood products and were the recipients of blood products, transported veterans to the VA Medical Center, facilitated emergency communications to active military personnel and their families and information referral services.

In response to question 6, again I apologize, but I would have to research this question and report back to you my findings.

Name: Ellen ristorcelli

Location: hagerstown

Guest: Barr-Strasburg

Question: What type volunteers do you need?

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