We keep the patient in mind with everything we do. Because we collect plasma for life-saving medicines, we operate in a highly regulated environment. We have multiple standard operating procedures and checks in place to ensure the safety of our donors and the quality of the plasma we collect. We explain our procedures to donors to make sure they understand how our processes benefit both our donors and patients. In everything we do, we think about the final product and the millions of patients who rely on plasma-based medicines.
We are the very beginning of the process, and without our donors there would be no finished product. Our donors express many different reasons for donating – and their motivations vary. Some of our donors give plasma to earn supplemental income, others donate to save a life, and still more donate because they have either been a patient, or know someone who benefited from the medicines we help make. We also have donors who enjoy coming to our centre and spending time with our staff and donors because they like the social interaction. For our donors and centre staff, we are all part of a larger plasma community.
We are the very beginning of the process, and without our donors there would be no finished product.
I have worked in the plasma industry since 2005. I started as a donor during college. I began working in a plasma donation centre as a plasma processor, then was promoted to training coordinator before leaving to study public health. I came back and opened the Houston centre in the spring of 2016. I consider myself an ambassador of the plasma industry, and I want our company to be the face of the industry. To me, Octapharma Plasma is the standard because our focus on training, operations and customer experience drive our success.
As a leader, I’m a coach at heart. I enjoy watching employees grow into the next phases of their careers. Assisting in their journeys is the most enjoyable part of my job. If I can build a cohesive team and help my staff fulfil their highest potential, that’s wonderful. I’m proud to be part of a company that develops professional employees while contributing to the wellbeing of our donors, patients, and communities.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas as a category 4 hurricane on the evening of 25 August 2017. Over a four-day period, Houston, the fourth most populous city in the USA, with 2.3 million people, faced historic flooding after intense rainfall. A year’s worth of rain (more than 50 inches) fell in Houston in a matter of days. Everyone in the area, including donors and employees, was affected one way or another. The Octapharma Plasma corporate office created a fundraiser page for our 80+ US donation centres to join together and raise more than $10,000 dollars to help centre staff affected by the flooding.
Donor Centre Director Willy Felton said, “Hurricane Harvey was a tough, eye-opening experience for everyone. My entire neighbourhood was surrounded by water, so I was living on an island for two weeks. People were even trapped on the roofs of buildings. Members of our staff and donor community lost everything, including cars and clothes. It was a devastating loss for a lot of people.”
Of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath, Willy said, “We still have some donors that have not returned, have been displaced, or have lost everything. The Houston centre’s donors and staff received an outpouring of support and have been as positive as possible throughout this experience. After all, material items can be replaced, but no lives were lost, and that’s what’s most important. In our recovery efforts, we’ve found that Hurricane Harvey actually reinforced the importance of donating plasma. Our donors are more motivated than ever to donate life-saving plasma that enriches the lives of others.”