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Each year, the Armed Services Blood Program recognizes individuals in the blood banking field whose accomplishments have had a transformative effect on blood banking in the military. The Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2009, and has since recognized those who exemplify tireless dedication to the military blood program.
Requirements, Nominations and Selection Process
The Armed Services Blood Program seeks annual nominations for the Lifetime Achievement Award from members of the military blood banking community. Nominees should:
- Be retired from active duty service,
- Have spent a minimum of 20 years making significant contributions that have led to a transformative impact on the Armed Services Blood Program,
- Be one who has demonstrated continued loyalty and dedication to the Armed Services Blood Program, and
- Have contributed continued and/or extraordinary service to the Armed Services Blood Program.
To nominate an individual for the Lifetime Achievement Award, please click here
for specific entry requirements.
Army Col. Dr. William Hann
Army Col. Dr. William Hann is best known for his work with the with ASBP’s Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship Program. In fact, he taught and mentored four of the ASBP’s previous Lifetime Achievement Award Winners — retired Army Col. Tony Polk, retired Navy Cmdr. W. Patrick Monaghan, retired Air Force Col. James Berger and retired Navy Cmdr. Jerry Holmberg. Hann earned his master’s degree in 1956 and his doctorate degree in bacteriology and microbiology in 1964 from the George Washington University School of Medicine. He had a profound and extraordinary history of being a scientist, a college educator and military leader for 37 years in the National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. As a direct result of his efforts, military blood bank fellows were scholastically empowered to propel the military blood banks worldwide into fulfilling their military readiness mission. Over a 25-year period, he was instrumental in teaching bacteriology, microbiology and virology to thousands of students. He was particularly involved in research and oversaw the development of the medical technology and blood bank programs. The Armed Services Blood Program posthumously honored Hann with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife, Ms. Emma Hann, during the ASBP’s workshop at the 2016 AABB Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla.
Retired Army Lt. Col. Wilbur Malloy
With more than 30 years of experience, Malloy has many career highlights as both a blood banker and clinical laboratory officer. While serving as the Korea Area joint blood program officer, Malloy exercised the delivery of large palletized quantities of blood by air delivery and low altitude parachute extraction and naval emergency cargo air delivery systems. This was a significant improvement to the availability of blood product inventories to support the Pacific Theater. As the commander of the U.S. Army Europe Blood Bank in Landstuhl, Germany, he provided invaluable insight, leadership and assistance in the development, implementation and prepositioning of 30,000 units of frozen red cells in the European Command Contingency Frozen Blood Program. Later in his career, he served as the first director of the U.S. Central Command Frozen Blood Depot located at Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia with the primary responsibility of supporting the deploying troops in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with liquid and frozen blood products. Within a matter of 60 days, he converted an abandoned health clinic into a frozen blood storage depot with functioning freezers, supplies and cell washers.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Ruth Sylvester
Sylvester has more than 40 years of experience in both clinical laboratories and blood banks. Over the course of her 22 years in the Air Force, she excelled in various positions including the first Air Force Quality assurance coordinator, the director of the Air Force Blood Program, and the deputy director of operations of the ASBP. As the director of the Air Force Blood Program, Sylvester disseminated blood policy for 38 Air Force Medical treatment facilities, transfusing 20,000 units at 12 blood donor centers and collected 30,000 units annually. As the ASBP deputy director of operations, Sylvester was a key strategist of the Operation Iraqi Freedom blood support plan, delivering 62,000 units to theater. This enabled 8,000 transfusions to more than 2,000 patients. She also helped increase blood collections by 42 percent while decreasing deferrals by 25 percent by implementing donor marketing and recruitment programs. In 2003, Sylvester became the 14th director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office.
Retired Navy Cmdr. Jerry Holmberg
Holmberg has more than 43 years of experience in all areas of laboratory medicine with a concentration on blood bank operations, research, education and policy. Commissioned in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant junior grade in 1980, Holmberg began his career assigned to the Blood Bank and Transfusion Center at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. During this time, he expanded blood donor operations, including tri-service donor collections with U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army personnel, thereby laying the groundwork for the establishment of joint operations. As the Director of the U.S. Pacific Command Blood Program Office, he established the massive frozen red blood cell prepositioned supply for the ASBP. By 1990, he was the director of the National Naval Medical Center Blood Bank where he performed critical studies on the use of newly developed blood processing equipment for improved blood component therapy. Holmberg is also an active participant in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and travels to many developing countries to provide technical assistance in blood safety and availability.
Retired Air Force Col. Suellyn Novak
Novak spent 32 years in the Air Force, serving in military blood banking positions all around the country. She began her illustrious career as a biomedical laboratory officer intern at Malcolm Grove Air Force Medical Center at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in 1980. She would go on to serve as the chief of the Air Force Blood Program for six years, earning her the distinction as the longest sitting chief of the program. In this position she established the Total Force Training Program for guard and reserve personnel to operate the blood program and completed the Transportable Blood Transshipment center so that frozen and fresh blood could be moved anywhere, anytime. During Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Novak and her team put the most units of blood into theater, despite the Air Force Blood Program being the smallest of the three service blood programs.
Retired Navy Capt. Bruce Rutherford
After enlisting in the Navy in 1972, Rutherford went on to achieve success at several naval and military medical facilities around the globe. He served at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where he was instrumental in expanding laboratory services received to prisoners of war from Vietnam. Later in his career, he served as the U.S. Pacific Commands Unified Commands joint blood program officer, the Component Blood Program officer and the commander-in-chief of the Pacific Fleet. In 1990, Rutherford was selected as the seventh director of the Navy Blood Program. During his tenure, all Navy blood donor centers and manufactured blood products were licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, the frozen blood program was expanded and the prepositioning of blood bank war supplies streamlined. In 1995, he became the 12th director of the ASBP.
Retired Army Col. Frank R. Camp
Known as the father of the Armed Services Blood Bank Fellowship Program, Army Col. Frank R. Camp spent a large portion of his distinguished Army career teaching blood banking. He led the Army program in blood banking and transfusion research and his efforts helped support the large blood requirements of the Vietnam War. His published blood research included more than 200 manuscripts, scientific reports, book chapters and technical papers. Camp was the first non-physician to command the U.S. Army Medical Research Laboratory at Fort Knox, Ky. In 1984, the blood donor center at Fort Knox would be named after Camp to honor the man whose vision brought knowledge, understanding and lifesaving blood to so many. The Armed Services Blood Program posthumously honored Camp with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Retired Army Col. James E. Spiker, Jr., MSC
Spiker's illustrious military blood banking career is filled with a host of "firsts." In the early 1960s, he introduced the use of plastic bags for collections and initiated the use of red blood cells for both the U.S. military blood program in Korea and the blood donor center and hospital blood bank at Fort Campbell, Ky. Spiker established the first centralized blood program in the continental U.S. for the U.S. Army where he served as the first Army Health Services Command Laboratory and Blood Bank consultant. He ensured that all Army blood operations met Food and Drug Administration and AABB standards, and later served as the first Army-wide blood program officer making him the father of the Army Blood Program as it is today. Spiker was also the first blood banker to be the assistant chief of the Army Medical Service Corps for Allied Sciences.
Retired Air Force Col. James J. Berger, BSC
Berger was a pioneer in military blood banking for more than 30 years. He established blood transshipment centers which became critical to U.S. war plans during the Cold War. He later conducted the first joint American-British blood program readiness exercise, and set the stage to preposition 30,000 units of frozen blood for U.S. European contingencies at the beginning of Operation Desert Storm. U.S. Air Force Europe became the first command of the U.S. European military services to use frozen blood due to his initiatives in the frozen blood program, lessening critical wartime shortfalls. His involvement in contingency operations from the U.S. European Command to Operation Desert Storm was crucial especially in the early stages of the war.
Retired Navy Cmdr. W. Patrick Monaghan, PhD.
Retired Navy Cmdr. W. Patrick Monaghan, PhD's career spanned the globe, taking him from the United States, to South Vietnam, to areas throughout the Pacific. His achievements included providing clinical laboratory tests and blood bank support to wounded service members in Vietnam, setting up a robust military blood program at the Naval Hospital in Charleston, S.C., and serving as the director of the Navy Blood Program, Northeast Area Blood System. A tireless research scientist in his field, many of his clinical research projects through the years have resulted in procedures that are still used to save lives of military personnel worldwide today. Monaghan established the first military apheresis center and was instrumental in defining procedures to collect large volumes of blood and treat patients with blood disorders.
Retired Navy Capt. C. Robert Valeri, M.D.
Retired Navy Capt. C. Robert Valeri, PhD. currently holds the following academic appointments: Professor of Medicine and Research Professor of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine; Professor of Medicine, Tufts Veterinary School; Lecturer in Surgery, Tufts University School of Medicine. He has published over 520 peer-reviewed original articles, written four books and devoted himself to a lifetime of research in the area of frozen blood products. His outstanding work led to FDA Licensure of rejuvenated and non-rejuvenated frozen red blood cells, DMSO as platelet cryoprotectant; fresh frozen plasma stored for 7 years at –80 C; and most recently, deglycerolized red blood cells with a two week post-thaw shelf life. Today, the entire DoD frozen blood program a vital part of contingency operations all over the world is a direct result of his work and the transfusion of deglycerolized red cells has saved many lives.
Retired Army Col. Anthony “Tony” J. Polk
Retired Army Col. Anthony "Tony" J. Polk's lifetime of military blood banking experiences developed and shaped the Department of Defense blood program into the Armed Services Blood Program of today. Foundational elements and organizational structure of the program including the program name, titles of blood bank officers throughout the military blood banking system, and the standardization of distribution systems were conceptualized and implemented by this visionary military blood banker. Polk served as the Armed Services Blood Program director from 1984 to 1991, and authored the Military Blood Program 2004 Implementation Plan, which would mark the beginning of the military blood program's routine inclusion in all top-level contingency plans.