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Huntington celebrated Black History Month with first annual Charles Drew blood drive

Huntington celebrated Black History Month with first annual Charles Drew blood drive
Mar 15 2024

In celebration of Black History Month in February, Huntington Health recognized the contributions of Black Americans with a monthlong blood drive in honor of Charles Drew, MD, a Black American scientist, and surgeon who was instrumental in developing modern-day blood banks. The blood drive also shed light on the importance of Black blood donors. According to the American Red Cross, 51% of Black Americans have type O blood, which is in high demand, so Black Americans play a critical role in meeting this need.

On February 24, the blood drive culminated in a special community event at the Huntington Blood Donor Center. Our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) department partnered with local community organizations, including the Pasadena-Altadena Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Pasadena Chapter; Eta Pi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha; and the Altadena Chamber of Commerce, to bring in first-time donors and deepen our connection to the community.

Blood donation for black history month

“We are so grateful to our community partners and many other volunteers for making our first annual Black History Month Charles Drew blood drive a great success, and more importantly, impactful. Being the only level-II trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley, we rely on donors to replenish blood supplies to meet the needs of the community,” said Pamela Weatherspoon, vice president, enterprise, diversity, equity, inclusion, engagement & wellness. “During the month of February, we collected 485 pints of blood. This is over 100 pints more than what we collected in both February 2022 and February 2023 and 200 pints more than in February 2021. We couldn’t have done it without DEI, the Blood Donor Center and our staff who participated in the monthlong drive. We are excited to make this an annual event.”

Cheryl Purvis, MSN, RN, interim vice president, clinical operations, Huntington Health, shared why blood donations are so vital: “I’ve been a nurse for many years, and I’ve worked in level-I trauma centers, surgery departments and high-risk obstetrics units. I’ve seen patients come in unexpectedly with horrible traumas. Immediate access to blood literally makes a life-and-death difference in that moment.”

Each blood donation can help save more than one life—the lives of newborn babies and their mothers, the lives of those battling cancer, or those suffering unexpected traumas.

It’s never been easier to become a lifesaver. Consider giving the gift of life by calling (626) 397-5422 to schedule a blood donation appointment at our Huntington Health Blood Donor Center in Pasadena.

For more information and to see a list of our upcoming blood drives in the community. visit: