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Team Members Receive Army Surgeon General Coin
By Jessica Overbeck, Staff Writer, Armed Services Blood Program
Steve Blalock (left) and Brad Smith (right), contractors for the Armed Services Blood Program, received the Army Surgeon General’s coin and a letter recognizing them for their dedication to the military blood program on June 19, 2012.
On June 19, 2012, Col. Frank Rentas, director of the Armed Services Blood Program, on behalf of Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, proudly recognized two of the Armed Services Blood Program team members, Steve Blalock of VMD Systems Integrators and Brad Smith of DESE Research, for their outstanding support and dedication to the military blood program.
“Brad and Steve have played a key role in our quest to make the Armed Services Blood Program a metrics-driven program,” said Rentas. “We have been able to use key metrics and business case analyses to improve processes leading to changes that saved the Department of Defense millions of dollars during the last three years. Their work organizing and coordinating our 10-year lessons learned workshop was top-notch.”
“We have made great strides because of their contributions and value them as key members of our program management and the military blood supply,” said Don Dahlheimer, deputy director and information management officer for the Armed Services Blood Program.
“It is a very high honor to have received this recognition,” said Smith, the operations support team task lead for the program. “The Armed Services Blood Program is the most complimentary client I have ever known.”
As contractors, Blalock and Smith have been involved in the process improvement and data analysis aspect of the contract for approximately four years. The duo has worked to improve the “arm-to-arm process,” as Smith called it. Their efforts have included tasks addressing marketing, collections, manufacturing, storage and shipping. And the work has included everything from strategic planning to strategic and tactical performance measurement and other process improvements.
Horoho commended the team on their “dedication and significant amount of hard work [they] provided in support of the Armed Services Blood Program transformation operations.” She thanked them for the “tremendous efforts” that “ensured the appropriate use of critical data and scarce resources that were utilized to manage our military blood supply.”
“For more than three years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Mr. Brad Smith and Mr. Steve Blalock to develop the Armed Services Blood Program Office Strategic Plan, which includes more than 25 projects,” said Don Dahlheimer, deputy director and information management officer for the Armed Services Blood Program. “Through their efforts to provide accurate and timely metrics, with detailed analysis and recommendations for business improvements, a level of confidence amongst the individual service blood programs has been built that provides the foundation of the military blood program’s success.”
“Brad and Steve were instrumental in developing and executing a retrospective look at the past eight years of blood operations,” said Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Harding, Armed Services Blood Program deputy director of policy. “As a result of their efforts, we identified five key focus areas as we work to bring new processes and organizational doctrine to prepare for future contingencies.”
“It is rare to be acknowledged for what we consider to be doing our jobs, and I am honored to receive this kind of recognition from clients with such important and demanding positions,” said Blalock, senior technical analyst. “Though the workload can be intense, the payoff of seeing improvements in operations makes the work worthwhile.”
Although Smith and Blalock work hard to ensure the highest possible benefits of their projects, they were quick to thank the Armed Services Blood Program leadership for their success.
“They really make our job easier. They help us, help them,” said Blalock. “They are more than willing to give us the information we need to do our jobs, especially when we don’t understand some of the medical specifics.”
“I enjoy being part of something that has such a significant impact for warfighters around the world, in terms of blood donations,” said Smith. “Perhaps one of the most rewarding things about working on this contract is that the program makes decisions based on our efforts.”
Blalock agrees, but admits that being passionate about his job has a lot to do with the program leadership. “Our dedication to the program is only increased by the Armed Services Blood Program’s devotion to their mission, especially in supporting the troops,” he said.
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