On August 21, 2016, at age 88, Henry Ramos surpassed his goal of collecting 4,500 total blood donations through drives at the Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge. Henry coordinates the drives with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, and through his efforts to increase participation, total donations through blood drives at the church are now approaching the 5,000 mark.
Henry was 65 when he was asked to coordinate the drives. Since then, the church has consistently been recognized as a top performer for the hospital’s Blood Donor Center. Thanks to his commitment and the generosity of the many donors, more than 8,000 people in the Baton Rouge area have been aided by blood Henry helped secure.
Although Henry knew little about operating blood drives when he accepted the volunteer position, he brought to bear decades of experience examining systems, seeking opportunities and finding solutions. An industrial hygiene engineer by trade, Henry spent his entire professional life helping people by improving workplace safety. Coordinating successful blood drives is an extension of that concern for others. His background as an engineering team leader has not only helped Henry analyze the donation program and develop its greater potential—it has helped him recruit and energize his volunteers and attract new donors.
Life experience is a masterful teacher for those who pay attention. In Henry’s case, a lifetime of paying attention equipped him with the tools to do some of his most important work: helping save the lives of people he may never meet. After all, that’s what donated blood does; it saves lives. Coordinating the blood drives is a calling for Henry. It taps into his deep-seated sense of compassion and community. It reflects his determination to do more and to help more people. It’s informed by his experience. It’s been a life-giving success built on something very simple: Henry’s refusal to slow down after turning 65.
Henry Ramos … Peoples Health Champion.
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.