October 2001

Market-based Organizations Respond to Disasters

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks that left thousands dead or missing in New York City, Washington, D.C. and rural Pennsylvania market-based organizations responded in any way they could. Some, like Good Samaritan Health Center in Merrill, Wis., expanded blood bank hours to help accommodate a huge increase in blood donations. Others, like St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kan., mobilized emergency response teams to help travelers who were stranded when commercial airliners were forced to land at local airports.

At Centura-St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, Colo., the Flight for Life medical-evacuation operation and Mayo Aviation worked together to deliver 500 units of whole blood and three disaster workers to New Jersey. While Flight for Life secured 300 units of processed blood from the Blonfils Blood Center in Denver, Mayo Aviation won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly the blood to New Jersey on a corporate jet. When Denver radio stations broadcast news about the mission, a local fire chief asked if the jet could also take three Federal Emergency Management Agency workers to New York City. By the early morning of September 12, the jet was on its way after stopping in Lincoln, Neb., to pick up another 200 units of blood. When the jet landed at the Teeterboro, N.J., airport, local authorities arranged to deliver the blood, which was the first to reach the New York City area by air, to local blood centers.