COLUMBUS — Community Blood Center gave testimony before the Ohio Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee, Tuesday, Nov. 14 in support of proposed legislation to designate January as “Blood Donor Awareness Month” in Ohio.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Stephen Huffman of Miami County, chairman of the House Health Committee, emergency room physician and life-long blood donor. Sen. Matt Huffman from District 12 is the Senate sponsor.
CBC Donor Relations Director Andrew Keelor, Ohio Association of Blood Banks board member Dr. Elizabeth Biller, and Botkins blood donor Susan Leugers all testified before the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee as proponents of the bill.
“We really don’t realize how many lives are saved when people donate blood,” said committee member Sen. Peggy Lehner, Dist. 6, Montgomery County.
The bill has received bipartisan support. CBC testified in support of the bill at the Sept. 13 House Health Committee hearing chaired by Huffman, where it passed by a 19-0 vote. The House approved the bill 93-0, Sept. 20.
”As a regular blood donor, I was proud to sponsor this legislation and it is my hope that it will increase awareness about the importance of giving blood, and encourage more donations across the state,” said Huffman, who has made 55 lifetime donations with Community Blood Center.
Leugers, who has 136 lifetime blood donations, organized a Botkins blood drive in honor of her daughter, Chelsea, who died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 22.
“The third annual Chelsea Lukey Memorial Blood Drive will be the day after New Year’s 2018,” Leugers said in her testimony. “With your support, the blood drive in Chelsea’s honor could be the first blood drive of January Blood Donor Awareness Month.”
The bill now moves to opponent testimony prior to a committee vote.