ASBP: Retired Navy Capt. Jean T. Scherrer Recognized with ASBP’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award
Skip NavigationSkip Navigation
Give to the Red White & Blue - The Official Website of the United States Military Blood Program
Clock Symbol Korea
West Coast
Wash D.C.
 Print Button


For more information contact:

Navy Lt. Tamara Belin | Deputy Division Chief, Policy
703-681-8348 |



FALLS CHURCH, Va., Sept. 20, 2017 — The Armed Services Blood Program recently announced the honoree of its annual Lifetime Achievement Award: Retired Navy Capt. Jean T. Scherrer. Scherrer is posthumously recognized for a distinguished Navy career that helped to transform the military blood program.

“I am very pleased to recognize Capt. Scherrer with this honor,” said Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, ASBP director. “Her accomplishments and contributions to military medicine have truly shaped our program and helped save the lives of countless service members worldwide.”

Scherrer, a decorated Naval officer, earned her commission in the Navy Medical Service Corps in 1985 and went on to serve for 26 years. In 1993, she earned a master’s of science degree and a master’s of science in applied biology from Bowling Green State University.

“In 1997, newly promoted Lt. Cmdr. Jean Scherrer, recognized for her ability to accomplish difficult tasks, was ordered to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to address Food and Drug Administration concerns affecting the ‘President’s Hospital,’” said Navy Cmdr. Leslie Riggs, former director of the Navy Blood Program. “With the center facing the potential loss of their FDA license and subsequent ability to produce blood and perform transfusions, Lt. Cmdr. Scherrer was tasked with reorganizing the entire Transfusion Services and blood donor center infrastructure.”

Failure was not an option for Scherrer. So she quickly reorganized the department’s personnel structure, procedures and policies.

“To show the enormous amount of progress being made, she conducted weekly progress reports directly to Congressional committees and senior leadership within the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery — a daunting task in itself,” Riggs said. “Under seemingly insurmountable odds, she overcame her trial by fire, allowing collection and blood distribution activities to resume and restoring an acceptable regulatory status for the blood center.”

Scherrer also stood up the first Navy-led joint service blood donor center, helping to bring Army, Navy and Air Force service members together in the same facility for the time in the eastern United States. Known today as the Armed Services Blood Bank Center-National Capital Region, the center — located at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland — continues to serve as a vital component of the ASBP. She also assisted with the design several other blood donor centers in the Department of Defense such as the one at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virginia and the one in Great Lakes, Illinois.

“Scherrer established herself as a recognized expert in infectious disease testing,” Riggs said. “To quickly meet industry donor testing standards, she brought state-of-the-art test methodology to the donor center, significantly contributing to the safety of the military blood supply.”

“This strategic move proved beneficial as the ASBBC-NCR was a crucial joint blood donor center that responded immediately to support the 9/11 Pentagon victims, deployment of troops, as well as performing infectious disease testing for military and civilian blood banks due to a closed air space in the Washington metro area,” Fahie said.

Just as she did in her professional career, Scherrer faced overwhelming odds in her personal life. In 2003, she was diagnosed with a debilitating disease, yet she continued to perform as a model leader until her retirement nearly a decade later.

“A tribute to her selflessness, she was known to hold department planning meetings while being administered treatments in the chemotherapy unit,” Riggs said. “Her commitment was unmatched. Throughout her career, she was a well-known mentor, supporter and leader for junior and senior officers alike.”

Scherrer was a professor of immunohematology at Old Dominion University in Virginia, and became a recognized expert in blood banking. During her career, she instructed hundreds of civilian and military blood bankers.

In her last year of service, Scherrer redirected the remodeling of the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Blood Donor Center as the mission to support the fleet continued to grow. Like its sister center in Bethesda, the NMCP donor center continues to prove itself a vital facility to the mission of the ASBP.

After her retirement and until her death, Scherrer continued her work at the NMCP, counseling patients undergoing similar medical circumstances as hers. She passed away May 4, 2013 and was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

“For her many contributions to the Armed Services Blood Program, its beneficiaries and those she proudly lead, Capt. Scherrer is most deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award,” Fahie said. “The military blood program is truly transformed because of Capt. Scherrer’s efforts. For her endless dedication, for her ability to overcome even the greatest of odds, and for her dedication to patients in need worldwide, we are forever grateful.”

About the Armed Services Blood Program
Since 1962, the Armed Services Blood Program has served as the sole provider of blood for the United States military. As a tri-service organization, the ASBP collects, processes, stores and distributes blood and blood products to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and their families worldwide. As one of four national blood collection organizations trusted to ensure the nation has a safe, potent blood supply, the ASBP works closely with our civilian counterparts by sharing donors on military installations where there are no military blood collection centers and by sharing blood products in times of need to maximize availability of this national treasure. To find out more about the ASBP or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit To interact directly with ASBP staff members, see more photos or get the latest news, follow @militaryblood on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Pinterest. Find the drop. Donate.

The Armed Services Blood Program is a proud recipient of the Army Maj. Gen. Keith L. Ware Public Affairs award for journalism.