Meet the Bloodworks Center for Global Impact’s New Class of Life Savers

In October, healthcare leaders from around the world traveled to Bloodworks Northwest–some, despite horrific natural disasters–to attend a special Bloodworks Center for Global Impact course. Below, we share some of their stories and the insights they’ll use to save lives back home. 

There’s a river where a road once was in Peggy Samuels’s Turks and Caicos hometown.

In a series of photos, Peggy’s daughter captured the destruction left by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Tilting utility poles and sagging palm trees grazed murky brown water that seeped into buildings’ ground floors.

Though Peggy said her kids were scared, she kept her travel plans to Bloodworks Northwest’s Seattle headquarters. As Chief Medical Technologist for the National Blood Bank of Turks and Caicos Islands, Peggy was part of a special group of international healthcare leaders attending the Bloodworks Center for Global Impact Laboratory Quality Management Systems course. “I made a huge effort to get here after the hurricanes because I found it so important to obtain the knowledge that we’re now getting,” she said.

The Bloodworks Center for Global Impact prepares healthcare professionals from all over the world to tackle blood banking challenges in their home countries–from dealing with infected blood, to boosting donor recruitment and engagement. This year’s scholars traveled from as far as Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire to get the most up-to-date information about collecting and transfusing blood.

Bloodworks Northwest’s role as a blood center and research institute puts it in a unique position to help, according to Bloodworks’ Chief Operating Officer, Linda Barnes.”There are many organizations that academically train individuals, but they may not have the breadth and depth of services we offer from arm to arm,” she said.

Meet the Scholars

DSC_2000Peggy Samuels 

Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services

Her Role: Chief Medical Technologist, overseeing the National Public Health Lab and Blood Bank

Why Bloodworks Academy: “The skills that we learn here will really impact our organizations back home. I made a huge effort to get here after the hurricanes because I found it so important to obtain the knowledge that we’re now getting.”

Biggest Challenge: “Before the hurricanes, we wanted to stock up on blood, and we were so stressed out anticipating a Category 5, that nobody wanted to donate. People were busy putting up their shutters, people were busy buying plywood, getting water, stocking up. We sent text messages, but it was difficult–I’ve never experienced that before.”

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