Steamboat Springs It's no secret the tireless efforts of volunteer blood drive coordinator Terry Sherrill have kept the Yampa Valley well stocked with hundreds of units of blood and blood products each year.
But now, Bonfils Blood Center is recognizing Sherrill's contribution by naming her this year's Colorado Coordinator of the Year.
Sherrill spent Tuesday at the Adam's Mark Hotel in downtown Denver, where she was honored with the statewide award for her energy and consistent contributions.
"Blood donations collected here may be helping someone anywhere in the state," Yampa Valley Medical Center Director of Public Relations Christine McKelvie said.
At the most recent drive on Sept. 20, 199 pints of donated blood were collected and sent to the Bonfils headquarters in Denver, from where it is shipped all over the state.
Each hospital has a regular allotment, as well as the capability of ordering more units of blood and blood products on an as-needed basis.
"As coordinator of the Steamboat Springs Blood drive, (Sherrill) has consistently expanded community participation in the drive," said Jessica Maitland, also of Bonfils. "Her efforts have translated directly to an increase in the amount of blood collected."
Sherrill's efforts have also secured the number of units sent from Bonfils in Denver to Steamboat Springs each month.
A few years ago, Bonfils wanted to cut back on the number of units it sent to Steamboat Springs each month, YVMC Laboratory Director Ken Shaffer said.
But because local blood drive numbers have been so solid, the hospital was able to maintain its monthly supply at its regular level.
"The success of our local blood drives gives Yampa Valley Medical Center an excellent standing with Bonfils," McKelvie said.
YVMC Laboratory Director Ken Shaffer said the hospital has 31 units of blood and blood products delivered every three weeks, or more than 525 per year.
Additional supplies are sometimes needed for emergency situations, such as a surgery following a car crash in 1999 that required 19 units, he added.
"It is just a good, healthy community, and volunteering is part of being a small town," Sherrill said of her passion to serve the needs of her community.
"The program was waning when Terry took over," he said. "She recruited more volunteers from the Hospital Auxiliary and a tremendous amount of blood donors."
Shaffer said a good example of Terry's commitment to the cause is her willingness to take appointments at her home on her personal phone line.
"Then, when she sees you in the grocery store, she reminds you that you're giving blood at 5 o'clock," Shaffer said. "She gives blood donors the personal attention they need. And she's already working on the next blood drive in December."
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