Celebrating Black History Month: Employee Spotlight on Demond Ausley

Demond Ausley is a Manufacturing Supervisor for the American Red Cross of Illinois.

Demond has been a dedicated staff member at the Red Cross for nearly 16 years and says he loves to support the Red Cross mission because he wanted to make a difference. During his tenure, his primary focus has been to oversee the distribution of blood products and transportation services. Blood is essential for so many things and there is no replacement for it. It cannot be created in a lab and the only way to get it is through the generous donations of volunteer blood donors. Through his position, Demond helps supervise the blood operations and make sure everything is consistent in the distribution of blood products to hospitals throughout the region. He is highly knowledgeable on the blood collection and distribution process and highly passionate about how it can help save lives from the trauma victim, cancer patient, sickle cell warrior, or any other reason someone might need blood- thanks to people like Demond, the Red Cross helps get it there. As he says, “It’s the gift of life and it’s precious!”

Watch Demond explain some of the activities at the Chicago blood facility center:

As the nation faces a historic blood shortage crisis, Demond is on the front lines of helping to coordinate the management of a very low blood supply. It’s at the lowest its been in at least a decade due to winter weather challenges, a surge in COVID-19 variants, and a decline in donors & volunteers. This crisis has created major threats on blood collection, but Demond ensures we meet the demands of delivering available lifesaving blood to its destinations as best as we can.

“It’s the gift of life, and it’s precious!”

– Demond Ausley

Demond is very passionate at creating ways to not just tell people about blood donation, but educate them how it is vital to society. He finds fulfillment in helping save lives. His passion is quite evident for he can still remember patients’ names back from when he began his career with the Red Cross almost 2 decades ago.

The American Red Cross is proud to recognize a long tradition of diverse contributors of humanitarian service and Demond was part of a recent initiative to help honor the work of Dr. Charles Drew at the Illinois headquarters in Chicago.

An African American physician, Dr. Drew started the American Red Cross blood banking. His discoveries in the storage and processing of blood for transfusions was groundbreaking and he has since become known as the “father of modern blood banking.” The Charles Drew Institute in Biomedical Services is named for Dr. Drew and the Illinois Region features a display to commemorate his achievements and educate those who pass it.

The display placard reads:

Dr. Charles R. Drew, a prominent African American, was a dedicated scientist and educator pioneering in blood collection and plasma processing. He laid the foundation for modern blood banking and revolutionized the medical profession. The American Red Cross blood program of today is a direct result of his groundbreaking work in developing large-scale collection, processing and storage of human blood and plasma products during World War II. Among his innovations as the first medical director of the Red Cross blood bank were mobile blood donation stations, later called “bloodmobiles.” Dr. Drew’s discoveries and his work in organizing and administering blood banks continue to save countless lives today.”

Demond pictured second from the right at the unveiling of the display to honor Dr. Drew at the Chicago blood facility

We are grateful for Demond’s passion and dedication to the Red Cross. Thank you for being a part of the Red Cross family!

Read more about Dr. Drew here

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