NYBCe is proud to celebrate Black History Month and recognize the lifesaving role Black and African American blood donors play in our community’s healthcare system. This year, with approval from Dr. Charles Drew’s grandson Kendall Price, MD, who was interviewed last year during Black History Month, NYBCe is debuting the “Dr. Charles Drew Lifesaver Award.” The family is delighted to be a part of this annual recognition honoring a person, organization, or media entity (or any other appropriate NYBCe partner) who brings awareness to the need for a diverse blood supply and encourages the lifesaving act of blood donation during Black History Month and beyond.

On Monday, February 12, 2024, this new award was presented to its first honorees; Columbia University and its blood drive coordinator, Junior M. Benjamin, for their partnership and commitment to our lifesaving mission. Columbia University and NYBC have been community partners since the 1960’s. Since 1998 the Columbia University Blood Drive Program has generated more than 22,000 blood donations affecting more than 66,000 patients in need. The university hosts on average 12 blood drives yearly and their annual February campaign is held in honor of Black History Month and Dr. Charles R. Drew.

The success of this Blood Drive Campaign is largely attributed to Junior Benjamin, who is our longstanding Chairperson. Junior’s passion and involvement continue to be instrumental in growing the university’s campaign. NYBC truly appreciates his continued commitment to saving lives.

BBD and RIBC will also be presenting this distinguished award to local honorees before the end of the month. More information to follow soon.