This article is part of a regular series highlighting each of Carter BloodCare’s donor centers, their teams and their commitment to serving communities by fulfilling the mission to save lives by making transfusion possible.
Delivering Great Experiences That Stick Well at the Rosedale Donor Center in Fort Worth
Expertise, education and recruitment are making the donor difference
For new donors, it can all come down to the “stick.”
“What actually happens with the needle is very important,” said Site Supervisor Ricky Wingham with Carter BloodCare’s Rosedale Donor Center in Fort Worth. “The experience they have – that it’s a really good donor experience – is one of the main things that will help people get over their fears and come back.”
Fortunately, their arms are in good hands with the Rosedale team.
“This team is made up of mostly senior staff,” said Donor Center Manager Frances Carson. “The majority have been with Carter BloodCare for over 10 years.”
“I’m not even the longest running employee here,” said Wingham, who’s worked nearly 15 years with Carter BloodCare. “So when you have a donor who’s new, it helps to let them know, ‘OK, we’re going to give you this person who’s been here for 10 years and they’re going to take good care of you.’ That makes a difference. It’s a big part of customer experience.”
That level of expertise translates into great experiences for new and returning donors like James Salinas of Burleson.
“I haven’t donated in a long, long time, but my wife has. She’s donating now,” he said as he waited in the Rosedale center’s canteen area. “I’m afraid of needles, but I donate because we all know blood is needed all year round.”
Putting donors at ease by delivering a positive experience is a source of pride for Wingham’s team, which includes Phlebotomists 2 Krystal Cervantes, Crystal Dobbins, Jose Ortega, Tawahna Renfro and Jane Williams, and Phlebotomists 1 Ruschelle Hess and Brittney Williams.
The Rosedale location typically processes 25 to 35 donors a day, with a weekly average of more than 120 donors.
“The past couple of weeks, it’s been a little heavier than normal. The difference is, we’re seeing different people; we’re seeing a lot of new faces now, which is a good thing,” said Wingham. “There are a lot of new donors coming in. I think they know what’s going on; they’ve heard the different calls and appeals to deal with our blood shortage.”
An essential part of Fort Worth’s Medical District
The Rosedale facility is conveniently located in the world-class Medical District near downtown Fort Worth, an area also known as Near Southside. Of historical note, the current building sits on the site of Fort Worth’s original Carter Blood Center, which was chartered in 1959 through a grant by the Amon G. Carter Foundation.
The Medical District is home to Tarrant County’s major hospitals and dozens of independent clinics.
The Near Southside neighborhood roster reads like a Who’s Who of leading health care institutions, including Cook Children’s Medical Center, which also has pediatric offices on the second floor of the Carter BloodCare-owned Rosedale Street building; Medical City Fort Worth; JPS Health Network’s Patient Care Pavilion; Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center – Fort Worth; Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and UT Southwestern’s Moncrief Cancer Institute, among many others.
“We do interact with them and we see a lot of people who work in the area. We meet people from every aspect of life here,” said Wingham. “A lot of times, they’re donating not because of something that happened to them, but to someone they know.
“There are sick people that need blood and other products, and the hospitals rely on us to have the products available. It’s important to be part of that big cycle that helps people,” he said. “I don’t want us to ever forget how important this side of it is.”
The center houses six donor beds for blood product collection, with four screening booths.
Rosedale typically collects more donations of whole blood, in which one unit or pint of blood is taken for separation into its component parts later in the lab.
However, the center holds the distinction as one of only two in Carter BloodCare’s service area – the Preston Valley site in North Dallas being the other – that conducts clinical apheresis.
Educating donors on apheresis
For donors who may not be familiar, apheresis is an automated process which allows them to maximize their donations for their blood types and give specific components. The apheresis instrument works by centrifugation of blood drawn from the donor. It layers the cells of the blood by weight or density and separates them from the liquid, while maintaining them in a closed circuit to prevent contamination.
The instrument can then draw out the desired part or parts of the blood into a sterile bag for storage. Most automated donations consist of a combination of platelets, red blood cells and plasma.
Though apheresis requires a longer time commitment – typically up to two hours – from the donor, it allows for a more generous donation of each of these components than whole blood donation would.
“On the apheresis side, we see about eight to 10 of these donors a day, about 45 to 55 per week,” said Wingham. “We once did 22 in one day and that was pretty incredible, but I’d still like to see more focus on apheresis.”
Ultimately, that focus is driven by the mission to help as many people as possible.
“We always want to be the most productive and maximize the donor potential, letting them know there are other things that are needed, not only whole blood,” said Wingham. “People who come in to give blood, they’re open to listening to that, because they’re really here to help.”
Ortega, who has worked with Carter BloodCare for 14 years, agreed.
“That’s something I pride myself in what I do – educating our donors, giving them direction as needed on where we can have the best results, building those donor relationships, helping them really understand what we do and how they can help in the best way they can,” he said.
Wingham added, “Information is a big part of recruiting, because recruiting and asking are two different things. If I just ask a person to do something, they may have no idea what it is and more than likely will just say no.
“But if I’m recruiting a person, then I’m letting them know all the advantages, why we do it, what it’s used for. In that way, I have a better chance of reaching that person and it’s easier to convince them to try donating other blood products, like platelets,” he said.
In particular, platelets are vital components used primarily for treating cancer patients, those undergoing heart surgery, and people with traumatic injuries.
Unlike whole blood donations, which can be made every 56 days, platelet donations through apheresis can be performed every two weeks.
“I have two aunts and a cousin who receive platelets, so it’s very important to me,” said Renfro, a 14-year Carter BloodCare team member. “If donors ask me, or if they’re first-time platelet donors, I tell them how important platelets are. We try to educate our donors on the importance of platelets because there are so many cancer patients and people who need them right now.”
A reason to return
“Everyone always has a story for why they donate,” said Dobbins, who has worked with Carter BloodCare for 22 years. “It might be something in their life that hit them hard or they have a relative that was impacted, but everyone has a reason for why they continue to donate.”
A friendly, welcoming environment and a cohesive, knowledgeable team of phlebotomists are influential factors in transforming first-timers into repeat donors.
“Ultimately, once a person walks through that door, even if they have this great fear of needles, they’ve already decided they want to challenge that fear,” said Wingham. “That’s a big part of why they’re here in the first place.”
For Salinas, the highly experienced team at the Rosedale Donor Center made a positive difference in helping him overcome his fears.
“You can get busy with life and kids and work and everything that’s going on, even being afraid of needles, but this is important and there’s a big need,” he said, as he and his wife prepared to leave after their donations.
But before they did, he had this promise to share:
“We’ll make it a habit now to keep coming back.
Rosedale Donor Center
1263 W. Rosedale St., Ste. 100
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Hours of operation:
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Carter BloodCare’s team at the Rosedale Donor Center in Fort Worth is ready to see you for your next lifesaving donation to help Texas patients in need. To find additional donor centers, visit carterbloodcare.org or call/text 800-366-2834 for an appointment.
Bloodworks in the Community – Bloodworks Northwest BlogBloodworks Northwest Blog
Blood connects all of us as human beings. Bloodworks’ lifesaving mission allows us to connect and celebrate with members of the communities we serve around the year, 24/7/365.
However, the summer months give us an opportunity to not only share our mission but to recognize, commemorate, and honor others as we observe certain events that bring us together.
In June, we celebrated two important events: Juneteenth and Pride.
Iesha James and Rozi Romanesco spread awareness of Bloodworks Cord Blood Program at two Juneteenth events in Seattle.
70% of patients in need of a stem cell transplant will not find a donor within their family. Those patients will need to hope that there is an unrelated match within the international stem cell registry. Because genetics are tied to family ancestry, you’re more likely to find a match within your own ethnic background. Unfortunately, Black and African American patients have a lower chance of finding an unrelated match than individuals of other races.
Cord blood dramatically increases the potential for a match compared to adult bone marrow because the cells in the umbilical cord are more adaptable. This is one reason why it’s so important to have more Black and African American cord blood donors.
Iesha shares more on why you should consider donating your baby’s cord blood.
While Bloodworks serves everyone in our community in need of a lifesaving blood transfusion, it’s an unfortunate reality that many gay and bisexual men cannot donate blood due to FDA restrictions.
Bloodworks has been an active supporter of changing the MSM deferral for over a decade.
We participated in Seattle PrideFest to thank our LGBTQIA+ donors and to educate the community on other inclusive ways to get involved through donation for research, volunteer opportunities, and current job openings.
Want to do more? Local ad agency (and Bloodworks partner) Green Rubino put together a campaign to end donation discrimination.
Bloodworks staff in their own words
We were so pleased to return to PrideFest, and join for both days this year. The energy is always inspiring. Bloodworks is proud to stand with its LGBTQIA+ employees and support the broader Seattle community. Sharing our resources on cord blood and other donation opportunities is vital to our work, and it was a fantastic weekend meeting current and potential donors.
We talked to many people about community blood donation, and reminded quite a few to donate again! We also explained to many inquisitive visitors that folks ineligible for the community blood supply may be able to donate for research. Marci and Jesse from HR stopped by to deliver handouts about open positions, so we also shared info about promising new careers at Bloodworks. Of course, I shared the wonders that cord blood donation can do for patients suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease.
I really enjoyed being at Pride Fest this year and was very touched to see all the people who had interest in helping give back in some way – whether it be donations, volunteering or applying to work with us, it felt more like it should be called ‘Love Fest’ to me for that reason. Everyone there was so happy and so accepting of one another and it’s just great to be somewhere that everyone feels they can truly be themselves and not be judged, even if it is just for two days a year, it gives me hope for the future.
On a different note, I was a bit saddened by the fact that even in this day-in-age and with all the technology that we have for testing blood, etc., the FDA still states that homosexual men cannot donate blood unless they have abstained for 3 months. To me this is a little bit archaic and I wish it would change. One man came up and said he was saddened by this because he was in a bad car accident in HS and needed many pints of blood throughout his recovery and wishes that he was able to give back in some way all these years later but cannot because he is a gay man… it hurt to hear and I hope that it changes. Other than that, it was an amazing experience and I encourage everyone to go at least once in their lives! It was awesome to be there representing BWNW as well!
First off I want to say that that the people who joined us to represent Bloodworks truly represent our mission. They were so excited to tell everyone about the various options to help the community through blood donation and awareness. We had a lot of folks come up to tell us that they appreciate what we do, which meant so much. Many people who came up to our booth did not know that donating blood for research or creating awareness about our cord blood program can be hugely impactful in saving lives. We had a great chance to also create awareness about the initiatives to change the policies for blood donation to a more science based approach, which I think was appreciated.
Last weekend being my first time attending this event, I was thankful for the acceptance our community has for its people, and had a wonderful time despite the uncharacteristically hot weather!
A Father’s Day Gift Like No Other — Stanford Blood Center
We hope everyone had a very happy Father’s Day! It’s one of life’s joys to be able to spend quality time with your family on special occasions. Our Marketing and Communications Specialist, Felicia Gonsalves, knows first-hand the impact blood donors have on patients’ lives. She shares her story of how her family came awfully close to losing that valuable time, and how it motivated her to pay it forward.
It was a day Felicia Gonsalves will never forget and one that changed her life forever. She had just returned to the Bay Area after a family trip to Lake Tahoe during the Fourth of July weekend in 2019.
That’s when she got a call no one wants to receive: her dad was in the emergency room. The doctors tested him for what they considered to be worst-case scenario — and it turned out to be just that. After significant strain on his heart, David Gonsalves’ aorta had dissected (torn). His diagnosis was so critical that he had to be life-flighted to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Felicia quickly drove up to UC Davis to be at her father’s side.
“It’s a struggle to watch it happen to a loved one. Panic set in, not knowing what was going to happen to him,” said Felicia. “The waiting was excruciating, and you feel helpless because you’re not able to do anything for him.”
Fortunately, her father survived, but it was a harrowing experience. “Honestly, it was a miracle! The doctors told us that most patients with a similar diagnosis don’t survive.” Felicia remembers seeing some of the life-flight crew that took her dad to the hospital come by to check on him a few days later after he was out of ICU. They were so happy to see her dad because they knew from experience that most people who go through this ordeal don’t make it. In fact, his recovery is so rare, that doctors at Barton Memorial Hospital in Lake Tahoe have asked to do a case study on David’s situation.
Once her dad was back on his feet, Felicia asked herself what could she possibly do to show her gratitude to all those on his care team who helped her father bounce back and regain his health. “A simple thank-you note wasn’t enough. I could write each and every one of them, but it wouldn’t be able to express how grateful I was for their compassion and kindness,” said Felicia.
That’s when she was finally able to muster up enough courage to donate blood. Despite working at SBC, Felicia was always scared to donate blood. In addition to having a fear of needles, she also had particularly tricky veins that made it more challenging to donate. But, after the experience her family went through, she was determined to overcome her fear and make a difference. “The best thank you I could possibly give was to give the gift of life,” she said.
It was also a way to honor her father who was an avid blood donor. David has worked for years at a local elementary school, where he made a habit of donating at mobile blood drives. Though his medical situation has made it impossible for him to donate currently, he still spreads the word about the need for donors and shares his story every chance he gets.
David Gonsalves was given a second chance. A chance to spend quality time with family and friends. And a chance to enjoy Father’s Day with his daughter. “It’s always front of mind this time of year,” said Felicia. “I got this time with my dad that others unfortunately don’t always get to experience. So, as a blood donor, the only way I could show thanks was to try to do the same for somebody else.”
Just after the two-year anniversary of her father’s recovery, Felicia’s grandfather, Ernesto became very sick. They found out that both of his kidneys and his liver were failing. At the hospital, he had been given several transfusions, but they learned that he didn’t have much time left. Over the next four months, he continued to receive blood products before passing away in February of 2022. Felicia and her family are so grateful for the extra time they had with Ernesto. The gift of time is something Felicia and her family want to continue giving to other families.
Felicia continues to advocate for the importance of blood donation. She has encouraged friends to donate, and some have taken her up on that offer. “Donating blood takes only about an hour, but can have such a large impact on someone else’s life. There’s no better way to thank someone for giving you more time; it’s priceless!”
Like Father, Like Daughter — Stanford Blood Center
Balaji Iyer recently made his 100th milestone blood donation at our Mountain View center — a moment he had hoped to share with someone very special. Unfortunately, illness delayed his 16-year-old daughter Satvika from making her very first donation that same day. But sometimes things have a funny way of working out. Satvika finally got a chance to donate blood last week, just as we get ready to celebrate Father’s Day! Their donation was a very special gift for this father/daughter duo, and a life-saving gift for someone’s parent or child in need.
Ross Coyle, Public Relations Officer, interviewed the two about making blood donation a family affair.
What led you to donate blood the first time?
I have been donating blood since I was 20 years old. I grew up in Mumbai, India and was part of a volunteer group that would provide blood donations for patients in a hospital blood center. I thought of blood donation as one of the easiest ways to contribute positively to society. There was an element of sacrifice (time and logistics) involved that made the contribution worth the effort. I also liked the fact that it was a random act of kindness: I was blind to who got the donation, absolving myself from judgment of whether the recipient deserved that kindness. The truth is we all deserve kindness without judgment and that is enshrined in this act.
Is there a motivation behind becoming a blood donor?
I have benefited enormously from all that society has to offer. I have been blessed with a great education, financial freedoms, good health and the things that money cannot buy. I am grateful to my country and the community that I live in. Blood donation is one way of doing good and giving back a little. It definitely involves time and priority management. We all have busy lives, but it’s important to make time to do good. I have AB+ blood (meaning I can give universal plasma, aka “liquid gold,” which only about 4% of the U.S. population has) and know that when I donate, there are many lives that benefit.
Did you ever think you would reach your 100th Milestone donation?
Not really, I was not focused on a specific number. Since my parents lived in India and I had business that took me there (and India is an endemic malaria zone with a three-month donation deferral period now for travel), I had multiple years of deferrals throughout my years of donations with Stanford Blood Center. Once I got close to my 90th donation, I definitely wanted to celebrate the milestone of giving my 100th donation with my daughter, Satvika, as she became old enough to do her first.
Every milestone in life should be celebrated. It was an opportunity to realize that I was on the path of making a difference. Every journey is a collection of small steps in life. I also realize that there are many donors with 700+ lifetime donations, so there is also that “good competition!” The idea is to do the best that you can, in ways that you can. Be a force for good in life. I also openly talk about this milestone with friends and family. This could be misinterpreted as boisterous pride, but my objective is to spread awareness and encourage others to do what they can.
What does it mean to have your daughter making her very FIRST donation?
Yes, it is great to see my daughter choosing to commit to contribute positively to society. Satvika wants to lead organizing the next SBC blood donation drive at her high school. She is developing into a great leader there as president of the environmental society. Satvika also contributes with her data science skills to research remotely as an intern in a lab associated with studying the development of neurological diseases at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. All this while keeping her weighted GPA at 4.6 this past school year. I hope she continues to contribute to her community and society!
What have you told her about becoming a blood donor?
We have been blessed with a lot in life, do the best that you can! Choose to be a force for good. Focus on your health by investing time in regular exercise and good nutrition and hydration. You have a role to play in keeping your body fit for a donation. Do what you can, when you have the opportunity to; health is not something that you can take for granted and factors beyond your control can also affect you. Choose to give and your cup will be filled. Enjoy giving and contributing to your neighborhood and society. There is such a thing as good karma and we do live in a circular society, we may not often realize this but what we put into the universe comes right back to us.
Is it extra special for you as we approach Father’s Day?
I feel blessed and grateful that she is healthy and able to contribute. You can never take anything for granted. I am happy that she believes in the cause and to the extent that I have been an influence in helping her make that choice. I feel like I am doing my job. I remember her as a kindergartener, joining me on bike rides to SBC enthusiastically to snack on the cookies and POG. Glad that she can earn her own POG now!
Note: Interviewed just prior to donation
Are you excited about your very first blood donation with Stanford Blood Center?
Yes! I’m so excited for my first blood donation at the center, hopefully one of many more to come. I believe that if you have ample access to such an essential resource as blood, it is your responsibility to share with others.
How are you feeling as you’re about to donate? Excited? Nervous? A little of both?
I am so excited to donate. When I was younger, my dad and I would bike in tandem to his donation, and I think it’s a full-circle moment to go into my first donation in tandem. Honestly, the photos my dad sends me while donating recently make it seem comparable to a cozy movie night in — curled up in a blanket while watching a movie, sipping on bottomless POG juice and toting some cookies; the reward for an invaluable donation seems to arrive in waves, some in the form of instant gratification.
Has this been something you’ve been wanting to do for a while?
Along with the list, including filing as an organ donor and getting my drivers permit, this experience is something I have wanted to do as soon as I could. A lif- altering pint in my body seemingly lazing around as surplus when it could find its defining purpose in another stream undercuts the potential of that blood, and along with giving that blood purpose, it gives me fulfillment as well.
Do you think you will become a regular blood donor?
Oh, most definitely. Plasma, or liquid gold as my dad likes to call it, is sourced only through human donation (like other blood products), and is imperative for the treatment of genetic and contracted diseases alike. It’s a simple way to give back to my community, and I know I will make time for it regularly going forward.
I understand you want to be a blood donation advocate for your high school. Have you already begun taking steps to help spread the word with your classmates?
Yes! I actually contacted Stanford Blood Center and my school’s principal in order to organize a mobile blood drive. I also believe in sharing education, since as high schoolers we can be wary and almost dismissive of anything shrouded in mystery, and the process of blood donation could be a point of less of interest in high schoolers. I think knowing the inner workings and impact of blood donation will go a long way in producing lifelong donors. Don’t hold the cookies either!
You’re making your first donation right before Father’s Day. What does that mean to you?
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness, or in my case, a daughter can pay to their father. I think this is a testament to the impact my parents have had on my life so far, and, in general, the habits we see practiced by our parents are the ones we take to and emulate most easily. The fact my dad is a blood donor bodes well for his future commitment to our joint workouts, racquetball matches and Scrabble marathons: he’s not going to stop anytime soon!
about blood donation a charity after blood donation animal charity a pint of blood blood donation appointment blood donation to blood donor month blood if cancer foundation charitable causes charitable giving charitable impact charitable institutions charitable trust charity campaign charity fundraising charity sector charity website charity within community blood drive donate blood donate blood today donating platelets donor center double red cell donation fundraising platforms gift aid homeless shelter donations marrow donation national blood donor month national charities need blood online fundraising platforms pint of blood plasma donation platelet donation small charities the blood center the british red cross to charity to donate blood universal donor vanguard charitable whole blood donation
Donate Goods10 months ago
Homeless Shelters Near You: Making Homeless Shelter Donations
Donate Blood10 months ago
Donor Center Series: Rockwall – Carter BloodCare
Donation News10 months ago
More U.S. households gave to racial and social justice in 2020 | Philanthropy news
Donate Blood8 months ago
Amazon e-Gift Cards – Carter BloodCare
Donate Goods10 months ago
Goodwill Donation Center – Find A Goodwill Near Me
Give to Charity9 months ago
A Local Leader Calls for Investment in Black Women-led Nonprofits
Donation News10 months ago
Make Your LDS Donations Online
Donate Goods10 months ago
Where To Make A Deseret Industries Donation