Ray Rose is a Senior Executive Hematology Specialist in Amgen’s Oncology Business Unit, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After hearing on the news that retired nurses and other healthcare providers were being called back in to hospitals to assist with the fight against COVID-19, he started to think about what he could do to help.
In mid-March, Ray Rose received an urgent text from the American Red Cross warning about a shortage of O+ blood and asking for donations. He had also heard from several of his colleagues on Amgen’s Oncology Business Unit Leukemia team that some hospitals were stopping or delaying bone marrow transplants due to blood shortages.
“When doctors are getting ready to do a bone marrow transplant,” Ray Rose explains, “they need to have blood supplies on hand, since the patients typically have very low blood counts. Hospitals in my area were delaying transplants due to concerns about not having enough blood available. This really puts patients at risk -- especially those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia -- since it’s critical to minimize the time to transplant as much as possible.”
Because many churches and schools in Ray Rose’s area had stopped hosting blood drives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he decided to go to a nearby community hospital to donate a unit of whole blood. After making his donation on Friday, March 20, he took this selfie and posted it to Amgen's internal social media page, with the hashtag #DOINGMYPART. Ray Rose’s example has inspired a number of his Amgen teammates across the United States, along with their family members and friends, to do the same.
“I’m really proud of Ray Rose for taking the lead and setting an example for our organization of the many ways that we can serve patients in this environment,” says ChaRee Bradley, National Leukemia Sales Director for Amgen Oncology. “He’s gotten the ball rolling, and an increasing number of our colleagues are taking time out of their day to donate. I plan on doing so myself next week.”