Posts Tagged ‘health’

What Can Being a Blood Donor Do for YOUR Health?

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

In addition to helping save three lives with every donation, did you know that giving blood has health benefits for the donor? It’s true – every time you donate blood, we measure your cholesterol, blood pressure, pulse and temperature, and we log those results in Digital Donor, our free online tool for blood donors.

April is National Minority Health Month, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to share this awesome testimonial from one of our donors. Chris Gonzales discovered the benefits of using Digital Donor after his results prompted him to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

“While at the church where I was giving blood, I was told about the health check that I could access online. I gave The Blood Center a day and then logged onto Digital Donor. I scrolled down and found out that my cholesterol was 287. I knew that was high, but didn’t know much about cholesterol,” Chris said.

He scheduled a medical checkup and had a physician confirm the test results he received from The Blood Center. On his doctor’s recommendation, he started taking medication to lower his cholesterol and has made other lifestyle changes, like eating healthier, to ensure his cholesterol stays in a healthy range.

“My father and grandmother have both had heart surgeries, and my grandfather died from a heart attack,” he explained. ”Thanks to Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, that is one less thing I have to worry about. Giving blood saved my life.”

If you have never logged in to Digital Donor, check it out. In addition to tracking your health information, you can schedule your next blood donation, keep up with your eligibility dates and access the Commit for Life store.

2010 Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk®

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Today’s blog entry comes from Stacey Lynn, Quality Assurance Specialist in the Quality Assurance Department. Stacey is a committee member of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Fit4Life Program, which is dedicated to improving the health of Blood Center employees. Stacey is also the chairperson for the Fit4Life Weight Management Committee and team captain of her Walk Across Texas Team, “Legs Go.”

Walking Opportunity – Exercise and Support a Great Cause


My Oma, Mildred Metting, with her grandchildren.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, I am walking in the 5K Memory Walk to fight Alzheimer’s in honor of my Oma, Mildred Metting, who is battling the disease. I will be joined by the following Blood Center employees: Rae Zapata, Auto/Directed Supervisor in the Medical Services Department, walking for her grandma Socorro Tamez; Lisa Torres, Records Administrator/QA Specialist in the Product Management Department, walking for her friend’s mother, India Caswell; Ramona Howell, Commit for Life Coordinator in the Commit for Life Department, walking for Mildred Metting; Alma McMillan, Executive Assistant to the Chief Technical Officer, walking for her great aunt, Annie Mae Smith; and Teyonce Crisp, Apheresis Tech I at The Woodlands Neighborhood Donor Center, walking to support everyone’s loved ones suffering from this disease.

Currently more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. By participating in the 2010 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®, we are committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer research, care and support.

If you would like to walk with us, please click here to sign up for our team! There are no fees – the walk is free. 

What: 2010 Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®

Where: Minute Maid Park, 400 Hamilton St., Houston Texas77002

When: Oct. 23, 2010
Registration: 7:30 a.m. Walk: 8 a.m.

Length: 5K (3.1 miles)
Walk is dog, wheelchair and stroller friendly!

Contact: For more information, e-mail  or call (713) 314-1341.

Seven Questions Women Ask About Donating Blood

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

A Veteran DonorThis week from May 10 to 16, it’s National Women’s Health Week, when women are encouraged to make their health a top priority.  

Did you know women play an important role in the blood donation process?  

Although more women than men attempt to donate blood, more men are actually able to complete a successful donation. The most common reason women are deferred from donating is due to a low iron count.



Here are some answers to important questions about women and blood donation.


How to Get Fit

Monday, March 16th, 2009

It’s that time of year when New Year’s resolutions have become fading memories, when the crowds who flocked to the gym in January 2009 are beginning to dwindle.

Staying motivated in the quest for a healthy lifestyle is not easy. Having the support of your peers can make a huge difference. The Blood Center recently kicked off its Fit4Life program, an employee-led wellness initiative designed to support our employees’ overall well-being and quality of life.

Employees are catching the fitness bug, bringing healthy snacks to munch on and taking exercise breaks during the day.

Kim Wallace and Criselda Alvarado of Donor Recruitment snack on fruits, nuts and other low-calorie, high impact goodies.

Blood Center employees Kim Wallace and Criselda Alvarado keep fruits, nuts and other low-calorie, high impact goodies at their desk.

Some employees gather daily to trek up and down the stairwells and around the halls. Others are planning weekend biking excursions together. An eight-week Biggest Loser Challenge is underway, in which teams of three to five members are competing to lose the biggest percentage of weight. One team even swept its members’ desks of any and all traces of sweets to help them avoid temptation.

Most inspiring are the stories shared about their personal experiences. Below is the account of webmaster Garett Gowens, who cycled his way to fitness and wedded bliss.

LEFT: Garett and his then-fiancé Brianne are pictured soon after their engagement.
RIGHT: Garett is 45 pounds lighter just in time for his October 2008 wedding thanks to cycling and sound nutrition.

My journey to become healthy and fit started a little over a year ago. My wife and I were engaged at the time and both wanted to lose weight for the wedding.
The first thing I had to do was change my diet. I stopped drinking soda, cut down on eating out, drank lots of water and reduced my portions.
My second step was to start exercising, which I hadn’t done in years. It took a while before I found something that worked for me, since I tried different activities and never stuck with them until I found cycling. Before the wedding I rode about an hour a day six to seven times a week. In four months, I had dropped 45 pounds for our wedding day.
Having a goal and motivation was the biggest key. After our wedding, I decided to seek out other goals and motivation to take its place. I will be riding in the BP MS 150 in April, and I will participate in the Livestrong Challenge in October in Austin. I currently ride about 15 miles three to four times during the week and 50 to 60 miles on the weekend. I watch what I eat, checking calories and fat, which has always been the hardest part. But when I have a good week, I reward myself on the weekend with a meal of whatever I like, just as long as I don’t overdo it.

I am pleased with my progress overall, despite the days where it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress. I hope by the end of this year to lose 20 more pounds.

What steps are you taking to improve your health in 2009? What motivates you to get fit? Are you working together with friends, family or co-workers to reach your goals?

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