ERDC earns top award from Mississippi Blood Services

Published 1:53 pm Friday, February 10, 2023

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) is known worldwide for solving the nation’s toughest challenges in military and civil engineering.

However, the ERDC team has also been recognized for taking on another challenge — blood donation. Recently, ERDC was named the 2022 top business of the year by Mississippi Blood Services (MBS).  

Having hosted blood drives for many years, the ERDC has one of the highest employee donor percentages to date of any other blood drive group with MBS. In 2022, the organization held four blood drives, collecting 516 units in total and saving as many as 1,548 lives through those donations. This number put ERDC as the top-producing group for 2022 and officially the 2022 Top Business of the Year.  

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“ERDC is amazing,” said Merle Eldridge, director of Donor Recruitment and Mobile Collections for MBS. “The passion that Ruth Osburn, ERDC blood drive chair, shows in each ERDC blood drive — from the detailed schedule to the strong recruitment — is unmatched.”

Osburn, a health services nurse at ERDC, credits the organization for its success.

“ERDC makes the difference with such a good donor base,” Osburn said.  

According to U.S. blood donation statistics, someone is in need of blood every two seconds.  

“Only 37 percent of the American public are eligible to donate blood,” Osburn said. “Of that 37, less than 5 percent donate to the nation’s blood supplies.”

Currently, Osburn is actively scheduling more ERDC blood drives for 2023 with the first of four scheduled in February. 

Osburn and fellow ERDC health services nurse, Leslie Grammer, accepted the 2022 honor at a ceremony held by MBS on January 27, 2023, where 35 blood drive groups were recognized in five categories representing schools, colleges and businesses.