What is Donor Sabbath

In this episode of “Stand Out from the Inside,” presented by Versiti, Natalie Donnally shares her passion for Donor Sabbath, connecting people through blood drives, and being inspired by donor heroes.

Podcast Specific Hashtags: #donorsabbath #blooddrive

Guest(s): Natalie Donnally - Versiti Drive Host in Columbus, OH

About Our Host:

Edgar Daggett born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. He currently serves as the Specialty Programs Marketing Associate at Versiti Blood Centers, where he focuses on direct involvement and campaign management on specialty products and diverse groups. Past family experience inspired him to begin his journey at Versiti in 2020. He knew that the need for diverse units was growing year to year, and because of his personal history, he decided to make the change – and help make a change.

Through the Stand Out From the Inside podcast, he hopes to empower new and bright individuals in his community and beyond to spread the word on the need for diverse blood products through donation and blood drives.  

“I hope you all enjoy the Stand Out from the Inside podcast presented by Versiti, where we talk about the needs of the community and ways we can become stronger!”

About - Podcast Show Series

STAND OUT FROM THE INSIDE presented by versiti™ is a podcast where—we recognize community with light, uniqueness, and identity. Edgar Daggett will talk with individuals to celebrate ethnicity and blood type — it is part of our survival. Because within our communities, we have attributes that we give and serve in our community. This is a fresh podcast that will give voice to diversity and inspiration. We will promote strength, trust, caring, inclusivity, and positivity. And will go deep on the lifesaving impact of blood donation. How do you Stand Out from the Inside? https://www.versiti.org/standout

Welcome everyone to the Stand Out from the Inside podcast presented by Versiti. I'm your host Edgar Daggett. And we have an exciting new episode bringing to you today. You know, we had a very exciting episode last week, where we talked about this podcast, the beginning of this podcast, what it's going to be about and what Versiti has brought to you in a way, you know, we, we had a great guest, James Griffin, who shared about sickle cell, his connection with Versiti, and the ways that he helps his community. But for this week, we have a brand new topic. We're going to be talking about Donor Sabbath. Donor Sabbath is a cool [00:02:00] celebration. Something hot topic that happens in the month of November. You know, we talk about ways that religious groups, families, churches spread the word of donating blood, but also connecting to donating organs. You know, being an organ donor, how do we help out the community? Not just from that blood way, but how do we give back in different ways? We will also be talking to a host, a Versiti host who hosts drives throughout her community. She is in the heart of Columbus, Ohio, and she has found a way to connect with Versiti to give back. She connects with us, with her partners, multiple partners in ways that you can share and give back, you know, so I want to welcome our new host, Natalie Donally. She is here to join us on the Stand Out from the Inside podcast, Natalie welcome.

Natalie: Hello, Edgar. Thank you so much. I'm really excited to be here with you. Of course, meeting you and, having an [00:03:00] opportunity to share my experience and partnering with Versiti being one of the newer advisory board members and being a spokesperson for the minority populations.

Edgar: Excellent, welcome. Thank you so much for being here. As I talked, you know, I just got to meet you a couple of days ago and we talked about so many different things, but I want to bring up something, you know, for our viewers. I'm right here from Ann Arbor, Michigan. I'm here in Ann Arbor. I'm go blue, maize and blue. And when I talk with Natalie, she says she might you know, before I even say that I didn't get to say where you're from Natalie, because I need, I need the viewers to understand this.
 I am right

Natalie: here in central Ohio and Columbus, Ohio in the Scarlet and gray world. So of course I had to do the O H to Edgar. He did not give me an IO back, but you know, it's okay. You know we'll let him, you know, go ahead and take that beating again this year. So [00:04:00] whether it be in the blood drive and or on the football field. So, so thank you.

Edgar: Oh no, every time you say, OH, I'm just going to go say, go blue. Go Blue! And I almost got her to wear one of these, you know, this amazing blue maize color. Jersey's, you know, from an amazing school here, you know, almost got her to where, what it is, you know, just forgive, you know, forget a little bit of that. Red, Orange, I don't even know what colors those are down there.

Natalie: I have one of those sweatshirts and I would have brought it on the show today. However, I got to represent, I can only bring it out the Friday before the OSU Michigan game. So as we talked about my grandfather, If you said black, he said white, we had OSU family football tickets, season tickets, and he was the only fan on the OSU side, all in Michigan gear. So, [00:05:00] unfortunately when he passed away in '96, he gave me one of his sweatshirts, and I promised him I would wear it the day before the big game and do one "Go Blue." That's it. That's all I'm doing. That's my commitment to honor his love for Michigan. So, so I do get that out. My friends and family threatened me every year for 24 years now that they're going to burn it, but it still resides in my closet and I fulfill my promise. So, so you'll get me on that day.

Edgar: That's good, that's good. That's good for me. You know, I'm still trying to convince one of my colleagues, Greg, who is an Ohio state graduate to wear a little maize and blue. You know, we had a conversation a couple months ago and you know, he was really mean he started talking about loss who's had wins the last couple of years. We had To end the conversation real quick, you know, we're not gonna talk about it today. You know, hopefully this is our year, so we'll get there, we'll get there.

Natalie: Yeah. I had to tell Heidi when she moved here, one of the regional reps. I'm like, do you need me to go get your son some [00:06:00] OSU gear? So he doesn't have bullying at school, you know, so, but they had already gone in and got him some Buckeye stuff, transitioned. So I think they're going to remain the Michigan closet fans, why they're here, but represent The Ohio State Buckeyes, so.

Edgar: There you go. Big 10, we're big tens, and we're always a family, you know, we're a big 10, we all celebrate, uh, the big 10 schools, you know, I'm not going to lie. I bought it. I went with Ohio State when they were in the championships. I'm like, listen, I'm not gonna be happy about it.

Natalie: I'm telling you, Michigan fans are closet fans. So you, you got OSU gear somewhere. I'm telling you.
Edgar: Thank you again for being here. So, you know, with these great topics that we're going to be talking about, you know, you're, you yourself, are a host, a drive host. So you work with your school to be a drive host, but I want to go a little bit before we get into that, I want to go over something that's called Donor Sabbath. I said a little bit before, and for those that don't know, Donor Sabbath [00:07:00] is a celebration that happens two weekends before Thanksgiving. This weekend is for those, those religious families, and we talk with their communities about giving blood. And I want to ask you, you know, communities are infectious, they, they kind of connect each individual that's in that community to a mission, to a goal. And especially in the black and brown communities, Hispanic communities, those diverse communities. How important do you think churches play a role in spreading a message or spreading, you know, the goals that the community has.

Natalie: Oh, I think it's very important. I think the churches clearly overall they provide a safe and private space for one to kind of expel their beliefs across the board. Going from the religious beliefs into these topics about healthcare, funeral, tissue, organ, corneal donation, blood donation. So I think [00:08:00] they're an integral part with being a partner of ours in order to allow the congregates and the communities to really have a place to have that discussion in a safe manner and really be able to plug into health care professionals like myself, to give them the best information, quality information in order to make the best informed decision for themselves. So if we have, you know, pastoral leaders, faith-based leaders, who are not opposed to it, then as we know with any other leader, it trickles down to those below into the congregation. And then we see a high interest, and those having a belief and really wanting to be a donor hero.

Edgar: No definitely, you know, from personal experience, when I used to go to, when we used to go to church every Sunday, especially leading up to that November, we always talked about Thanksgiving, obviously, you know, Thanksgiving, you were [00:09:00] ready for the food, you were ready for that celebration. But we had this weekend where we talked about, you know, donating blood and we always had a drive. Everybody lined up and you know, it was a fun time. You know, you talked to your friends, you knew there was a mission behind it, but you kind of brought that excitement to it. And for those who are new to that church, or maybe they didn't know what donor Sabbath was, you got a chance to explain. You got a chance to tell a story, like this is the reason why we should donate. This is why I'm an organ donor. Whether it's a personal, like something happened to the family, to yourself or someone else, that you may have known and people connect with that. People accept that, like to hear that especially from those leaders in the church communities, or, you know, you're just standing in line and you talk to somebody that's in front of you or behind you. You hear their stories and you're like, wow, this makes me want to donate as well, or this makes me want to be a donor, an organ donor. But you know, not only churches, but [00:10:00] do you know any other groups that are also like, have that high persuasion or high effectiveness in those communities?

Natalie: Yeah. So, there's a lot of community partners specifically here in Columbus. We have a vast majority of community partners, nonprofits, even our government agencies, such as our health departments, our mayor's office, our city council, they're very plugged in to obviously decreasing health disparity. And within health disparity, of course, that comes with the whole realm of a holistic approach, which does include blood donation, organ tissue and corneal donation. So, you know, we really strive to work with those organizations, that really support blood donation as well as organ tissue and corneal donation. So I have been beyond fortunate and blessed to have the network that [00:11:00] I have of partners that truly allow me to come in and give the information, have dialogues with their clients, with their patients in regards to how important that is. And also to being a tissue and organ procurement specialist, obviously that's our goal. We have a whole team from administrative staff down to ourselves to do the recoveries, our family support, our marketing department, our ambassador program, and being able to incorporate that as well as part of the information that's given has been astronomical.

Edgar: So it's a large team. When I hear you say, how you work, who you work with, it's a large team to get everything together, to spread a message, to give material, to inform. So how many teams do you say you work with to just get a word out, a message out to connect with your community? How many [00:12:00] teams is that, members?

Natalie: I have 200 partners. We all work for the same mission at the end of the day, and that of course is to improve one's quality of life through healthcare, through social services, through other modalities, to decrease social determinants that create barriers greatly affecting one's quality of life. So, yeah. I've been doing this for 24 plus years. I love it, I love my partners. Like I said, I'm blessed. I even work with partners outside of Ohio who contribute specifically into my nonprofit works, that then again, intertwine into the healthcare communities that I work with.

Edgar: No, that's, that's amazing. In 24 years, that's an amazing, amazing celebration that you can solve.

Natalie: [00:13:00] I know I don't look old enough, but.

Edgar: Doing amazing. For those that don't know, 200 people, that's like you go to a football game, two teams, all those people on the floor. That's how big her team is like 200 people. Big, big number to spread this message. And that's how we explain it and show the importance of it. You know, it's just not like a couple of us. This is 200 people in a specific department that work to spread this message to be like, this is the importance of being a donor, organ donor, blood donor, a way to spread out a message. Because there is a need and it's like, it'll always be there. So we need this big of a team. Now, what I want to ask Natalie is, you know, being a host, being a drive host, that's a big mission. You decide to be a host, you want to collect those units of blood. I want to show like the viewers, what [00:14:00] is that process? You decide you want to be a host. You can't donate or you've donated, but you want to do a little bit more. What is that process to get you in the door to Versiti here in the Midwest or other blood centers? How does that process start to becoming a host?

Natalie: Yeah, for me personally, first and foremost, it's really the importance of providing the education and dialogue to the target audience. This allows us to really reach those who are on the fence or have uncertainties to donate, whether it's blood, whether it's organs, tissue, corneal, and really to receive again, the best quality information to make the best informed decision for themselves. So that's how I start. I work with my community partners, the government agencies, the nonprofits, the faith-based organizations, and I come in, and I really just start with an informational session, making sure that they have the right information. They [00:15:00] have the ability to really receive that information, process that information, and then be able to have some feedback with dialogue, making sure that they really understand the totality of the process. There's so many moving parts and pieces to donation across the board, and so I just try and remain transparent within those educational sessions to make sure that again, they have that information. This also gives me an opportunity for those who really suffer with mistrust of the healthcare systems as well as procedures, an opportunity to really engage with them, get to know them on a personal level, really be empathetic to the reasons why they mistrust the medical system. And once you're able to have that human element and really gain that trust just with myself personally, then [00:16:00] whomever I work with, the constituents, the patients, they automatically trust the process and those who work in different parts to make it possible. So that's how I start. I think it's really important to have that intimate setting, again, to allow those who really have reservation to feel more comfortable. And then those that, you know, have done it, we talked about it. I have multiple colleagues and friends and family, and they're like, oh yeah, I used to give blood all the time in high school and early college.

I don't really know why I stopped, but I just don't really know that it's needed. Or is it making a difference? Am I really saving someone's life? So, again, being in a setting to answer those questions and give that reassurance, that them becoming donor heroes is one of the most giving and important things that they can do in their life and, and donation doesn't always have to [00:17:00] revolve around death. And I think we have allowed that to make a step back from that because, we don't want to talk about death as a society either, but you can still give back through donations specifically with blood, some organs, some tissues, while you're still alive. So we make sure that we give that information specifically. I also realize within my engagement, that it's really important to be transparent. So giving those facts about supply versus demand, giving the facts about how much blood is actually utilized on a monthly basis. Now I specifically, at the current time, can only speak for my organization at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the James Cancer Comprehensive Center, and The Ohio State University Hospitals East. But on average, between our three organizations, we utilize 6,000 units of blood a month. So just within January [00:18:00] 1st to August 31st, as a whole organization, we've utilized over 46,000 units of blood. That blood is used for cancer patients, it's used for sickle cell disease patients. It's used for surgical patients and trauma patients, so I think when we're transparent with that supply versus demand and how badly we really need people to step up, and really give back to one's quality of life, it really does change their perspective with the reservations. And then secondly, just working with the community partners, the government agencies, faith-based organizations to procure donors, and, you know, relying on their leadership, their personal experiences, their testimonies to really gear those again to step up and donate. And then thirdly, I bring in Versiti of course, and [00:19:00] work with leadership within Versiti, the regional account representatives, the administrative teams ensuring that, you know, we can have all the parts and pieces to make the drive successful. Whether we're going to have it indoors, whether we're going to utilize the mobile, what's going to be the best fit for the target audience and the community area that we're going to have that. And then again, having continued dialogues with those who have interest or have registered, to ensure that their questions are answered and they fully understand the process from beginning to end. Showing gratitude with each donor hero, because it's a really special gift to be selfless enough to give something of this magnitude of themselves to save others lives. And I've heard, you know, as I've ventured into my tissue and organ procurement specialty, [00:20:00] a lot of people feel like it's a thankless or maybe kind of downplayed, underappreciated, aspect that they're doing. So I really try to make sure that I'm maintaining that engagement and really expressing gratitude, for their gift of life to someone else. And then follow up is important. After our drives, I make sure that we're reaching out as a whole team, making sure again, if there's any questions, if there were any complications, getting some feedback on the components of the drives, can we do anything differently, and just really maintaining that needs assessment, to ensure that, you know, they'll continue stepping up and continue being a donor hero going forward.

Edgar: No, I love that. And I wanted to hit on a couple of points that you said: trust and transparency. Those are [00:21:00] massive when it comes to our organization, just organizations entirely. But you know, when I say trust, you know, I want to be there in the community. I want you to believe, like when I talked to Versiti, I'm like, there's just things that we have to do. Not always, it doesn't always talk about just giving blood, but how do we be there? How are we there to help you out as a community? And once they trust, trust is hard to build, but it's also super easy to lose. And, you know, when we build trust with our community members, we're there, we're talking with them, we share our experiences and they share their experiences. And, you know, being there in the community in person is what I've learned and what I've seen that it has worked for all of us. You know, personally for myself, I go out and I talk with, you know, we have a core group that are RO, which is a specific blood type that we talked about the last podcast that connects with sickle cell, but I was personally there. I was personally talking [00:22:00] with potential donors. First-time donors, donors that we've had in the system for years. And I'm there connecting with them. They're connecting with each one of those donors, sharing my experiences, listening to theirs, and that's what they love. And that's what I love as well. Cause you know, we see that, you know, we're real people, you know, we're people on both sides. I have a mission, I have a goal that I want to accomplish. And if you're there, giving or learning, you see that mission or part of that mission and you also want to be involved. And that's why I think trust is one of the biggest things. And when you mentioned transparency, just being honest. We don't lie and say, oh, we're yeah, we have enough blood or yeah, you know, we're doing okay. No, we say either we need it, we need it urgently, or okay, we're living good, but we still need the blood. And we talk, so I deal with a lot of Hispanic groups cause I'm in the Hispanic community and I completely I'm like, listen, [00:23:00] you need XYZ to donate, an ID. I want you to come donate. That's it. You know, what we want is for you to donate, to help your community, because what people don't understand that in many states, many areas, many regions that the diverse communities are actually one of the greater communities. You know, they have a larger pool, a larger population within those regions, states and people, whether in their general community like their general space or maybe outside bordering communities, they need each other, you know, we always have people need people and how are we transparent in that way? How do we share a message with all, all those donors and any community, any diverse group. And those are two big points that I love that you brought up and that we try to explain or share and represent within Versiti. As we go, you know, you brought up the facts that about having [00:24:00] resources. Versiti offers different resources. And you know, when you have a blood drive, you connect with an account rep, who's there to guide you to connect you with, what do you need? Do you need a location? Do you need, oh, we don't have a location. Do you need a bus? Because Versiti also offers different buses that you can donate in. Do you need infographics? Do you need, anything that you need, anything that you can think of those account reps are there and that's what I wanted to ask you. What is that relationship building up with those account reps? Because those accounts reps are not only Versiti employees, but those are the faces of Versiti. You know, those are the ones out there getting those new hosts connecting with their communities. Those are the first, the frontline workers. Those are faces that represent Versiti. Like, how is that relationship built between a drive host and that account rep?

Natalie: I've had a great experience with everyone. From leadership, all the way [00:25:00] down to the phlebotomists who are on there, the staff that registers, web staff that helps with any registration issues, app issues. I've had a great experience. My grandma will tell you, Natalie knows no stranger. So, I think that helps with the relationships that I've built and the networking capabilities that I have, but everybody has been warm and welcoming. It's been a great experience. You know, I have the opportunity to have a voice within some of the Versiti meetings just to, you know, express how can we do better marketing in the minority populations? How can we really link that Versiti is the sole blood supplier for OSU and that all the blood that is donated, in a Versiti drive specifically here in Columbus, a hundred percent of that goes back to the Ohio State University [00:26:00] Wexner Medical Center, James Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as the Ohio State University Hospitals East. So that has just been a wonderful experience for me, and I feel very blessed to have the relationship that I have with Heather and Heidi, our marketing teams, meeting teams, your Wisconsin team as well. Now working with the Michigan team, but it's been, it's been really good and I really appreciate the support.

Edgar: No, that's amazing. That's awesome. You know, and when we talk with our different teams, like, you know, here at Versiti, we have an enormous team, enormous group, and we all have different segments that we're working on. And, you know, continuing with that diverse community, with the African-American communities, would you say partnerships are recommended to having a host, so like your first time host, first time drive host, you know, [00:27:00] maybe you don't work for a gigantic organization like OSU, but would you recommend partnering up with maybe getting another community member involved and then shooting out to do a drive host before or taking it all upon yourself?

Natalie: Absolutely. I mean, we statistically know that collaboration with organizations, specifically in the faith-based organization world, that we're able to have a deeper reach and impact into communities, specifically the minority communities. So, I definitely recommend working with partners. You know, we all, we have so many organizations, same thing here in Columbus. We have three enormous, phenomenal, innovative, healthcare organizations. And we have that for a reason because each of us lack something that is an impactful resource that the other one has. So when we're able to partner and collaborate together, [00:28:00] we're able to maintain that holistic approach. So I think it's very important to work with partners in building that, it also allows us to increase our percentage of donors. As we know across the donation world, for those of us who work in this specialty, over the last 10 years we lose donors by 10 or 15%. But we also have that same amount of increase of needing donors in order to maintain our supply versus demand. So partnership is number one key into having successful hosting drive.

Edgar: No, definitely. And leading onto something that you said, you know, here at Versiti, we believe that your blood stays in your community. You're in your community, the blood is here to serve you, and I know you brought up a little bit of biasness and you know, when we talk about joining the hospitals, hospital partners saying that [00:29:00] blood might not come back to your diverse group. What people don't know is, you know, sometimes the blood that's in your body best connects or best relates to people just like you. And that's what we want to show. That's what we want to explain to individuals that, you know, someone who's African-American from X community, maybe the blood that they have to offer, it gives directly to someone just like them because that's what they need. That's what they want, there's little antigens behind that blood, the ABO group. And that's what we want to share it and want to explain to our guests and being in the Ohio state Columbus area, you know, we're here, we're Versiti, we're newer to that area. So how do we work with our partners? Like we have our big hospital partners. How do, if I was donating blood at one of your drives, how do I see that? Or how do I, how can someone tell me, like my blood is going to stay in that community? Is there a way for me to figure that out, I know [00:30:00] at Versiti you can go online and be like, sometimes it can get tracked to either a specific hospital. How do you as a drive host or members of a drive that I'm giving blood assure me that this blood is staying somewhere here in this area.

Natalie: Again, it goes back to that transparency. So, having the information, being able to pull certain reports, having that present, having that a part of my presentations. So most recently, Versiti again, stepped up and showed out and supported me at the Red Diamond Gala, which is an annual gala fundraising event that one of my partners, Faith Thomas Foundation, has in order to procure the fundraising available for her to support sickle cell patients. So she kinda is that financial gap, reserve, for sickle cell patients, ensuring that they have what they need to get to their [00:31:00] appointments. To have specific treatment modalities, to have the opportunity to get in for their monthly blood transfusions. So again, just displaying that information, having that information, making it public knowledge, as part of your educational presentations, is what gives the information there in order to maintain that trust, give reassurance, show that that's going back in there. It's really important to a lot of us, you know, especially from the healthcare standpoint, we really don't keep things in a layman's terms all the time. So I think that that's really important is really doing your research to understand the culture and the community that you're serving because we all receive in different manners, learning styles, languages, so [00:32:00] that's really important. So I make sure that, you know, I stay up on my lingo, and being culture sensitive, understanding the cultures that are within those minority communities is really important in delivering that message and how they receive it. So, again, transparency, it comes down to transparency and having that information.

Edgar: No, definitely. Culturally, the lingo is always changing. That's something that I never can keep up on. You know, I learned something new and then maybe a month later, I say it, they're like, what are you talking about? Like, I just learned this, it's brand new. No, not at all.

Natalie: That's funny because my leadership will come out with me, like, and the joke is Natalie's in these streets because I really am like I'm out in the streets, I'm on the street corners. I'm at these homeless camps. I'm at community centers, you know, I'm at different recreational centers. I'm in every pocket that I can be that is [00:33:00] outside of our traditional spaces of target audiences. So it's so funny, you know, we'll go into a certain area and me I'm like, Hey, what's popping, you know? And she was like, did you really just say what's popping? And they're all like, yeah, what's gong on? So, you know, it's just really important to be able to connect in that manner. The community, the culture, being able to talk the same way they do. Sometimes we get so caught up in, in the formality of delivering information that we really just have to bring it down a couple notches, you know, and talk the way that they do. It doesn't make any culture or community less educated, or you know, that they're not speaking appropriately or anything else, it's just, you know, that's their culture. Same thing, you know, in the Latino communities. We have certain dialects that are more slang than more proper. So, it goes the same way in our communities here. [00:34:00] I think that really empowers the connection that you have with that particular community.

Edgar: Yeah, 100% agree. Sometimes, you know, I try to connect with like certain Hispanics and we'll talk about music. That is the first thing we'll talk about. Just music, right on. Exactly, musica. And that's exactly the way we connect, and we talk about that. Then we get into the transition eventually of blood and well it makes them more comfortable. It makes someone more comfortable, and you know, we're just people. We find that balance, you know, what connects us and for me, music works.

Natalie: I'm a huge music advocate. We listen to in the operating rooms, we listen to it driving, we have it at the drive. One of our other big blood drive advocates in the city is Habiba Bankston. Her blood drives are carnivals, okay? I mean, she's, she's got it going on and you talk about popping, it's popping. But it really does make a difference with [00:35:00] how you procure your audience and how engaged are audiences.

Edgar: You heard it here first, if you want a free concert and you in the Ohio area, you know, Columbus area, you know where to look for your next drive. Go donate blood and listen to a concert. Okay? It's hand-in-hand you can't beat it. You can't beat it.

Natalie: You can't, you can't at all.

Edgar: Leading to that, you've held multiple drives in your, in your time there in Ohio, or maybe in other areas. What is one of the most memorable drives that you had? Whether it was like someone you met, maybe it was a concert that someone had and you were playing music and for some reason that drive was supposed to end at 10 and ended at 2:00 AM. And we're like, what are we doing here? What is that most memorable drive?

Natalie: So for me, I think every drive is memorable for me because I always have one person who has just been so resistant to being a donor hero, and [00:36:00] just the whole process mistrust. Right? So for me, all of my drives have been memorable and impactful and really rewarding. I don't really quantify things, it really comes down to the quality. So when I have that one person who's been 100% resistant and they step up and they show out and they allow that reassurance and trust to guide them, and to really donating that day to me, that's what makes it memorable. That's what makes it rewarding. It's a true blessing to be able to connect with people in order to give them that opportunity to have that feeling of what it feels like to know that they're saving someone's life, whether that be their family member, eventually, whether it's it's their coworker, somebody off the street, you know, that that's just [00:37:00] really glorifying for that person when they finally get to experience that.

Edgar: Amazing love that answer. I was putting you on the spot there, you answered it perfectly. You got it. So, Natalie, thank you. I believe we got everything from wanting to build a drive, wanting to be a host, being involved in the community. You gotta speak the language with them. You gotta know the culture. You gotta be there to learn, to live, to experience something new. And don't be afraid to ask questions. Whether you're a part of the culture or not, we have tons of potential hosts that ask questions, that want to be involved. Listen, maybe I don't feel comfortable going by myself. Let me bring a partner. Let me bring a friend. Who's makes me comfortable and then takes me on that journey to build a host or be a host in those specific communities. Natalie, thank you so much. You know, I always want to ask, like, what do you have going on in your daily [00:38:00] life that you want our viewers to share that, to be involved, that they want to learn. What do you have to offer? What are you involved in?

Natalie: Everybody makes fun of me and they don't know how I get it all done, but for me, I really truly believe that time has never a deterrent when you're fulfilling your purpose. And I truly believe God has plugged me into the different spaces that He has because it really does come down to empowerment. And like I said, everything that I do it all intertwines, my real hat, my professional hat, I co-manage the African-American minority health division at the Center for Cancer Health Equity at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center. So our charge is really to be engaged in the communities, bringing healthcare access out in the communities with our medical mobiles, our healthcare professionals, our researchers, our community health workers, our patient navigators, [00:39:00] and really having programs that fit the full needs assessment of these communities, really getting their trust back, getting them into the four walls, to really have that preventative cancer screenings, health physicals, getting connected to primary care doctors, learning about being an organ tissue, corneal and blood donor, getting involved with that, and just really taking down those barriers that have provided them. It's been disheartening to me to have worked in hospice as well, or be part of the tissue and organ procurement team, and see those that are like me losing their lives younger and younger all because of that lack of trust and not getting the access to healthcare. So, this position is really important to me. My team is really important to me. It's phenomenal, what we create and the resources that we have. From [00:40:00] a community health standpoint to decreasing health disparity, decreasing social determinants, as well as gaining those resources, and what I do. I'm chair to four nonprofits here in the city that empower women who are affected by human trafficking, substance abuse, domestic violence, cancer, social determinant issues. So again, combining the two worlds to make sure that every day, every person that I come in contact with treat and help, that they're holistically being helped. So, I love what I do. I'm in love with it, and I couldn't feel more blessed to have the opportunities to do what I do.

Edgar: That's amazing, and where can people, if they want to get involved, they want to, whether you have volunteer opportunities, where can people go to get involved? And they want to share, they want to build a little bit more.

Natalie: Absolutely. From OSU [00:41:00] standpoint, they can go to cancer.osu.edu. They can look at all the different programmings, resources that we have available at the James Comprehensive Cancer Center, OSU Wexner Medical Center, OSU East, also to one of my partners, the Faith Thomas Foundation, her web page, social media pages also have significant links to resources, blood drives specifically. She supports those. They can always contact me via email or phone, and get LinkedIn. I do a lot with Friendship Missionary Baptist Church here in the city. They have the largest space that we're able to utilize for drives like this and incorporating health and wellness screening events. So again, reaching out to me, and, I can give you my email and phone number, and they can reach out to me directly and [00:42:00] get linked up.

Edgar: Awesome. Thank you so much, Natalie, for sharing your experiences, sharing what's going on in your day to day life and being part of the Stand Out from the Inside podcast. Thank you Natalie for being here.

Natalie: Thank you, and I just lastly want to say we have our blood battle going on that kicked off this past Wednesday that will run through November 24th. It will be at different OSU facilities, the college side of things. So please go to versiti.org backslash blood battle, and sign up for a drive and come by and be a donor hero!

Edgar: Amazing. Couldn't say it better myself. Excellent. Well Natalie, thank you again for being here. This is Stand Out from the Inside presented by Versiti, I want to say thank you. Subscribe to all of our channels. Visit us on YouTube. Subscribe on Spotify, YouTube, Google Play, all the majors podcast subscriptions. I always want to ask all of our viewers, how do you stand out from the inside? How do you make a difference in your community? Once again, this is Stand Out from the Inside, I'm Edgar Daggett. We'll see you all next time.

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