Coordinator Spotlight: Dr. Elizabeth M. St. Lezin, MD | San Francisco VA Medical Center
The San Francisco VA Medical Center has been a long-time advocate of hospitals hosting blood drives. The organization has hosted four blood drives per year for decades, most recently under the leadership of Dr. St. Lezin, Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Assistant Chief Laboratory Medicine & Director of Transfusion Services. Dr. St. Lezin is a true advocate for blood donation and handles all of the typical duties of a coordinator, such as securing a space for the drive, managing promotional materials, and directly recruiting blood donors.
Last year during the beginning of the pandemic when mobile blood drives were cancelling and the long-term viability of the blood supply was in question, Dr. St. Lezin stepped up to host an additional blood drive outside of her normal blood drive schedule. She recognized that hospitals were one of the few blood drive locations with employees working on-site, with the required space and COVID protocols in place to hold mobile blood drives. In fact, on a national level, the VA was encouraging all VA hospitals to host blood drives as part of the national response to the pandemic.
The employees at the San Francisco VA Medical Center are a dedicated group of blood donors who know how crucial it is to maintain the blood supply. Dr. St. Lezin partners with the Public Affairs group, who play a key role in getting the word out about the blood drive. She rallied her coworkers and community and was able to raise her average blood drive from 35 units to 45 units!
“Blood drives at the SFVA are a morale-booster for donors, for employees and volunteers involved in organizing the event, and for those of us working in the hospital transfusion service. It’s wonderful to see our coworkers in every department in the hospital eager to support the availability of blood for transfusion. “ - Dr. Elizabeth M. St. Lezin, MD