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Military Blood Program Supports Pacific Partnership 2015
By Jessica Pellegrini, ASBP Staff Writer
Participants of the Blood Safety Workshop in Pohnpei. The Armed Services Blood Program traveled to Pohnpei to conduct the three-day workshop designed to help develop infrastructure and knowledge for the Federated States of Micronesia’s blood banking program. (Photo courtesy of Navy Lt. Matthew Coon, U.S. Pacific Command)
The U.S. Pacific Command and the Armed Services Blood Program conducted a three-day Blood Safety Workshop as part of Pacific Partnership 2015 in Pohnpei, one of the four states of the Federated States of Micronesia, July 1-3.
According to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Frederick Matheu, PACOM joint blood program officer, Pacific Partnership is in its 10th iteration and is the “largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Asian-Pacific Region.”
Navy Lt. Matthew Coon conducted the Pohnpei workshop. The goal, he said, was to develop infrastructure and knowledge for the Federated States of Micronesia’s blood banking program.
“To do this, we tried to focus on practical process improvements that the host lab could make with the resources available,” Coon said. “We also provided an overview of the ASBP and the role of PACOM in the blood program.”
Participants in the workshop discussed volunteer donor programs, patient identification, HIV lookbacks, donor deferrals and component processing.
“These workshops are a vital part of the military blood program’s mission,” said Navy Cmdr. Leslie Riggs, director of the Navy Blood Program. “Lt. Cmdr. Matheu and Lt. Coon did a wonderful job in Pohnpei and their work will certainly help ensure the country is producing a safe, potent and quality blood supply, as well as enhance U.S. partnerships in that region.”
According to Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, ASBP director, the workshop was part of the Theater Security Cooperation Plan for the United States Pacific Command and part of Armed Services Blood Program’s contributions towards Global Health Engagements.
“Through the workshops, we build medical capabilities in these countries,” Fahie said. “We teach them how to build and maintain a safe blood supply in their country, strengthen their processes, and provide increased knowledge to physicians, nurses, laboratory personnel, and management personnel.”
While training for crisis conditions, Matheu said Pacific Partnership missions have provided medical care to nearly 270,000 patients and critical infrastructure developments to host nations through the completion of more than 180 engineering projects over the course of 10 years.
“The benefits of the Blood Safety Workshops are that the workshops build partnerships with the host nations, and specifically the leaders of their hospitals,” Coon said. “This gives us direct contact with their blood bank in case the need arises. For example, if a natural disaster happens and we are providing blood support, we have a direct contact for the logistics which minimizes a response time.”
About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit
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