Student effort contributes to big jump in blood donations

By Sarah Jane Grisham

Ryan Hyatt TCOM Student
Blood donations from UNT Health Center jumped almost 50 percent in 2017, thanks to a combination of student initiative and a dedication to follow through

Donations jumped from 116 in 2016 to 234 units last year, and Ryan Hyatt, a second-year student in Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a big reason why.

Last year, Hyatt noted that a campus blood drive was scheduled right before students would be leaving for the Fourth of July. This observation, and his own passion for donating blood, prompted him to contact Carter Bloodcare consultant Colleen Horan. He worked with her to find a date later in July that more students could attend.

Hyatt also recognized the need for increasing awareness among students. He worked with Vice President for Student Affairs Thomas Moorman to send out email reminders that also served as sign-ups, and he posted regularly on the TCOM Class of 2020 and Class of 2019 Facebook pages.

Hyatt, who saw a blood transfusion save his mom’s life, has been donating blood since he was 17. He views the act of giving blood as an extension of the same reason he went into medicine in the first place: a desire to assist others in their most vulnerable time of need.

“Blood at its heart represents life,” Hyatt said. “It’s a way I can serve my neighbor; whether I know them or not. It’s giving life.”

Hyatt said he felt queasy the first time he donated blood but found the strength to follow through by “focusing on the person who benefits.”

Carter Bloodcare’s Horan, who orchestrates about 35 blood drives in North Texas every month, said it is difficult to be everywhere at once and appreciates students like Hyatt and Patrick En-Szou Liao, who help her to make the drives at UNTHSC more efficient.

UNTHSC blood drives occur every other month and are open to the public as well as the entire UNTHSC community. They’re a service project of the UNTHSC FUN Club.

Next Blood Drive

Date: March 5, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Medical Education and Training Building (MET)

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