"The most important thing is to try to inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do" - Kobe Bryant
"Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it." - Wilferd A. Peterson
Kathy Ramson begins each day expecting to make a difference, and this Wilferd Peterson quote sums up her inspiration.
The new Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce board president is the network director healthy living and chronic disease initiatives at St. Luke’s University Health Network, and a long-time chamber member. She will serve a one year term as president of UBCC’s 19 member board of directors.
A critical care registered nurse and board certified nurse executive, Ramson has been with St. Luke’s since 2000 and holds advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh.
About UBCC’s upcoming year, Ramson is enthusiastic.
“The stage is set for us to have a successful year with a strong executive director, staff and board of directors. Our board meetings have vibrant discussion with no empty chairs at the table,” she said.
Ramson said UBCC’s plans include building membership and resources and forging more partnerships for the business community.
“We would like to build representation of non-profit organizations, as well as include our agriculture/farming community,” she said.
Ramson said effective leaders are skilled communicators – which mean they’re active listeners, too.
“Always find the time to recognize and reward [your colleagues and] ensure you are connecting to your team, and they are connecting to one another,” she said.
UBCC membership means St. Luke’s has a ‘seat at the table’ and a way to tap into the needs of the community directly, according to Ramson.
“It [membership] has always afforded me the opportunity to meet and partner with amazing business leaders and remarkable, down to earth people, whom I now call friends,” she said.
As with any membership organization, Ramson said member recruitment and retention are top priorities in 2020 and beyond.
Strengthening the “customer package” to current and future members is one of the ways to ensure UBCC remains vibrant.
And UBCC’s biggest strength? “Our business community,” she said.
In addition to UBCC programs, downtown business support comes from Quakertown Alive! and the new Nature-Based Placemaking Program in development through Pennsylvania Downtown Center to develop connected trails, create green spaces and attract recreation enthusiasts along with related new businesses. (For more visit our blog archives at https://www.ubcc.org/blog/archives/08-2019.)
Top on Ramson’s To Do list in 2020 is expanding membership engagement. “It’s not a question of ‘if’ [a business or individual will] become a UBCC member it is when, and on which committees to serve,” she said.
Did you know about every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood? Type 0 is the most requested human blood needed by hospitals, and one car accident victim could need as many as 100 pints of blood. (Source: GiveaPint.org.)
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce will host its first blood drive from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Valentine’s Day, February 14.
Carol Graves, Miller-Keystone Blood Center account manager in Bethlehem, said UBCC Executive Director Danielle Bodnar contacted her about arranging the life-saving blood drive in Quakertown.
“We thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect day, from one heart to another, as those transfusions are truly an act of love,” Graves said.
And while donors will probably never meet blood product recipients, Miller-Keystone staff do.
Miller-Keystone serves 29 hospitals including Lehigh Valley Health Network, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Geisinger Health, Grand View Health and Tower Health locations, among others.
Graves said winter months are an essential time for donors.
“They (donors) often stay away from blood drives because of bad weather and travel concerns, but the need never takes a holiday,” Graves explained. She said the winter holidays impact collection shortages. This, coupled with higher accident rates, creates a perfect storm of increased need and decreased donations.
“Every major holiday is a day we lose 400 to 500 units (Miller-Keystone’s daily collection average) of blood,” Graves said.
Graves’s professional background is varied, and she said working at Miller-Keystone is a perfect fit. “I love meeting new people and telling people about the importance of donating blood. Nothing is more exciting to me is when a new group comes on board,” Graves said.
It can be challenging the first time a group hosts a blood drive, but the rewards are tremendous. Set a realistic goal; future blood drives will grow.
Premature babies – weighing less than four pounds – is the age group using the most blood in the United States. There are 50 preemies born every day in Pennsylvania, Graves said. These tiny patients can use up to four pints of blood before they are discharged from the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
And cancer is the number one disease group using blood transfusions.
“Many cancer patients need blood transfusions during their chemotherapy, to counter the side effects of the chemotherapy,” Graves said.
Common blood donation misconceptions:
It’s going to hurt. Actually, it won’t. Donating blood is painless. Donors often “kid” one another about the initial finger stick, to determine your current hemoglobin, and that it’s the worst part of the process. That millisecond of discomfort is worth saving three lives.
I can’t donate, I’ve had cancer. Most cancer survivors are eligible to donate blood and blood products one year after their last treatment.
I have body art and/or piercings, that means I can’t donate. Again, after one year from piercings and tattoos, you may donate blood.
Those who are prohibited from donating blood include those on blood thinners like Warfarin or Coumadin, and those with certain heart conditions, check www.GIVEaPINT.org for eligibility.
Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 16-years-old and have photo a ID.
To register for the UBCC blood drive click here https://web.ubcc.org/events/Valentines-Day-Blood-Drive-1282/details.
Upper Bucks Chamber of Commerce
An economic development agency for Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
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