Naval Base Guam hosts Blood Drive

Story Number: NNS120509-05Release Date: 5/9/2012 3:50:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Corey Hensley, U.S. Naval Base Guam Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) and its tenant commands donated blood at the Charles King Fitness Center (CKFC) aboard the base, May 3.

Lt. John Stephan, assigned to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and blood bank officer in charge of the hospital's blood donor center, said the blood drive was part of the Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) Power of Blood program.

"The Power of Blood program, of which U.S. Naval Hospital Guam's blood donor center is a member, is to ensure that we have enough blood for our medical treatment facilities and also for our combat operations," Stephan said.

The Armed Services Blood Program (ASBP) donations are used only for military members and their families. By supporting the blood requirements for military treatment facilities, ASBP provides blood to support overseas units, and supports contingencies within and outside the continental United States.

According to Stephan, it's important for the blood to be stored and readily available for patients at the medical treatment facilities and also for ships forward deployed in the area.

"On Guam we're supporting blood for [various commands], for their operations and also field operations for the Marines in the area," Stephan said.

This particular blood drive was organized by Legalman 1st Class (AW) Kristina Grant, assigned to the Guam branch of U.S. Region Legal Service Office Japan, and Yeoman 2nd Class Shane Belgrave, assigned to NBG headquarters.

"The hospital asked me if I could be the liaison coordinator for Naval Base Guam," Grant said. "We're trying to get blood donors here on Guam so that [Naval Hospital Guam] doesn't have to send to Okinawa for blood, thus making Guam self-sustaining."

Belgrave said the goal of the drive was to get at least 20 good donations, but he is still hopeful that they will receive more, saying that sooner or later they are going to need blood from these donors.

"It's important because you're not only donating for yourself and your family, but you're also donating for other Sailors, Marines, and Army," Belgrave said.

Stephan said that donating blood is a simple process. The donor registers, fills out a few forms and completes a simple medical screening, which includes checking vitals and a finger prick to test the donor's hemoglobin. The donor is then issued their blood bag and sent to the donation area. Donors can even use the Internet to begin the process.

"People can register online on the E-donor program, and anybody that can gain access to our DoD (Department of Defense) medical facilities can donate blood to us," he said.

This blood drive is just one part of this ongoing program. Stephan said the center will be sending people to CKFC quarterly and to other commands like Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station Guam, Andersen Air Force Base and any other command that may be interested in hosting a blood drive.

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Culinary Specialist 1st Class Christy Gay, assigned to Joint Region Marianas, donates blood.
120503-N-UE250-004 SANTA RITA, Guam (May 3, 2012) Culinary Specialist 1st Class Christy Gay, assigned to Joint Region Marianas, donates blood as Elpidio Patague, from the blood donor center at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, checks her vitals during a blood drive at the Charles King Fitness Center at U.S. Naval Base Guam. The blood drive is part of the Power of Blood program sponsored by the Armed Services. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Corey Hensley)
May 9, 2012
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