Society for the Advancement of Blood Management recognizes a primary source of information regarding transfusion alternatives

Society for the Advancement of Blood Management recognizes a primary source of information regarding transfusion alternatives

Washington, DC—”Without their help, none of us who practice in the field of blood management would be where we are today. It is with great pleasure and most humble thanks that the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management [SABM] presents this award as a Pioneer in Blood Management to the men and women of the Hospital Information Services of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.” On September 21, 2002, at the annual medical symposium it was with these words that Dr. Richard K. Spence presented a Certificate of Recognition* and an award “For Your Pioneering Efforts in the Field of Bloodless Medicine and Surgery” to Hospital Information Services of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Hospital Information Services, or HIS, is the arm of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ headquarters staff that coordinates communication between over 110,000 physicians worldwide. Some 1,600 subgroups termed “Hospital Liaison Committees,” or HLCs, facilitate this communication on a local level. In this way premium nonblood medical management is made available to as many individuals as possible.

SABM is dedicated to the advancement of optimal blood management in clinical practice through education, cooperation and research. Having these goals, SABM took the opportunity at its first annual event to recognize the work of HIS: “This group of individuals rapidly became one of the primary sources of information regarding transfusion alternatives to the medical community. Over the years, the HIS has provided collated books of medical literature, focused publications, videotaped presentations and support for conferences worldwide to all who have asked for help. Their tireless efforts have been accomplished with grace, dignity, respect for all and an overriding sense of the importance of human life.”

In view of the renewed concern over the transmission of disease, the constant threat of blood shortages and the increasing awareness of the value of respecting patient needs and rights, it is vital now more than ever to explore the simple, safe and effective alternatives to blood transfusion.

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Media contact J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600
Medical contact HIS: (718) 560-4300

Certificate Of Recognition
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The recognition of the need to practice appropriate utilization of blood, blood products and alternatives is a relatively new phenomenon that has slowly grown over the past twenty years. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the parent organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religion, recognized the importance of providing educational assistance to physicians who were willing to treat their members without blood transfusion early in the 1980’s. Initial, informal efforts at education and communication were given structure in 1988 with the introduction of the Hospital Information Services branch of the Watchtower in Brooklyn, New York. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses developed local Hospital Liaison Committees consisting of well-informed lay persons who could answer a physician’s questions regarding acceptable treatments for Jehovah’s Witnesses, provide relevant literature and facilitate access to experienced physicians for consultation. This group of individuals rapidly became one of the primary sources of information regarding transfusion alternatives to the medical community. Over the years, the HIS has provided collated books of medical literature, focused publications, videotaped presentations and support for conferences worldwide to all who have asked for help. Their tireless efforts have been accomplished with grace, dignity, respect for all and an overriding sense of the importance of human life. Without their help, none of us who practice in the field of blood management would be where we are today. It is with great pleasure and most humble thanks that the Society for the Advancement of Blood Management presents this award as a Pioneer in Blood Management to the men and women of the Hospital Information Services of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

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