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September 2008 Issue

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Hoxworth Blood Center Celebrates 70 Years With New Look

By Katie Pence
Published September 2008

Pauline and Ben Dixon were connected even before they met while volunteering at Mercy Anderson Hospital.

Their tie: Hoxworth Blood Center.

“I used to give blood for about 15 years, and so did my husband,” says 83-year-old Pauline, who explains that her husband’s experience with prostate cancer and her own with high blood pressure prevent the couple from donating now.

But this doesn’t stop them from giving back to such an important cause. Now, the Dixons, married for nine years, donate their time instead, setting up and recruiting for the Hoxworth blood drive held at Mercy Anderson twice a year.

“I usually get a list of people who offer to give their blood,” says Ben, 84. “I walk the halls a few days before the blood drive and go to all the departments in the hospital to see how many employees are willing to give blood. We even call people to remind them to come over for their blood donation.”

The couple says that giving blood is such an important, yet simple task.

“There are so many people who have accidents or surgery and need blood,” Ben says. “It’s easy; anyone who can give blood should do so.”

The Dixons are only two of the influential people around the city who are rallying groups to give blood and save lives. Bruce Weil, 52, has been giving blood since around age 21. But it wasn’t as easy for him as Ben Dixon makes it sound.

“I was very nervous about signing up,” he says. “But once I put my name down, I felt obligated to give it a try. I did my fair amount of sweating that first time, but now, it has been over 25 years, and I continue to donate.”

In fact, Weil, a music teacher at Clark Montessori School, has spread the desire of giving to his students.

“I coordinate the school’s blood drive with the help of my students,” he says. “These kids embrace the chance to do something important for other people. They are extremely brave about donating.”

Since 2000, blood donations at Hoxworth Blood Center have risen from 78,000 to 95,000 units per year, thanks to donors like the Dixons and Weil.

This growth has led to Hoxworth’s continued success as the region’s only blood center serving Greater Cincinnati for 70 years. “Our donors save lives—it’s no more complicated than that,” says Susan Wilkinson, EdD, the center’s associate director.

As part of Hoxworth’s role in the community and its 70th anniversary celebration, which will also include a fundraising event on Nov. 1, Hoxworth officials have decided to revamp the logo to better represent the attributes that define the organization.

“There are five ideas behind our new logo: lifesaving, caring, being a community partner, being best in class and providing quality services,” Wilkinson says. “These principles make up Hoxworth. “We looked at the logo as a way to represent what Hoxworth Blood Center means to the community.”

A small event was held Aug. 19 to unveil the new logo. Wilkinson says the blood drop in place of the “o” is essential for tying Hoxworth to its primary purpose: blood donation. In addition, the new logo links Hoxworth more closely with UC.

“We want to show the importance of our relationship with the university,” Wilkinson continues. “Much of the research at Hoxworth is conducted by UC faculty. We are proudly part of UC, and we want to show that.”

Ronald Sacher, MD, director of Hoxworth, agrees.

“In celebrating the 70 years of Hoxworth, we decided it would be a good time to give the organization a fresh look,” he says, referring to the new logo.

“We hope this will reflect our desire to not only continue in our role as the region’s leading blood center but also to bond closer with UC and maintain our visibility in the community.”

But it’s not just about what Hoxworth means to the community, Sacher adds. It’s what the community has done for Hoxworth—and the Dixons and Weil are great examples.

“I just think it’s an incredible miracle that we can supply blood for folks in need,” Weil says. “It’s a gift to be able to help in this way.”

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