Friday, April 25, 2014

Honoring ‘the blood drive guy with the bow tie’

GIVING BACK: Moore, left, with George Chapel, senior phlebotomist


A photograph on the wall and a framed bow tie in the MGH Blood Donor Center are small reminders of the late Allan Moore, MD, whose legacy continues to live on through the Allan Moore Medical Service Blood Donor Challenge, which will commence May 1.

“Even people who didn’t know his name would say, ‘Here comes the blood drive guy with the bow tie,’” says Kim Cronin, manager of the Blood Donor Center.

His colleagues say that Moore, who founded the Medical Service Blood Donor Challenge in 2005, was struck by how little thought was given to where blood came from, or how difficult it was to maintain an adequate supply. He felt strongly it was the duty of hospital staff to give back to their patients by donating blood.

“He was one of the most positive people from the moment I met him – the big smile, the ever-present bow tie and sparkling eyes,” says Cronin. “He really thought more people needed to donate blood and he came to my office and said, ‘I’m here to help. What can I do?’”

What he did was spark a friendly competition among his colleagues – consisting of three groups of MGH residents and fellows – which resulted in 77 donations. But Moore did not stop there. A week later he already began planning for the next year and a new challenge – doctors versus nurses – with the hope of surpassing the goal with each passing year. However, in 2008, Moore died in a motor vehicle accident.

“When Allan passed away, there was no other option in my mind than to continue to run the drive in his name,” says Kerri Palamara McGrath, MD, now a physician in the Department of Medicine, who stepped forward to carry on the tradition. “I consider it an honor when members of the department tell me I remind them of Allan when I send emails or invite them into the donor center with me.”

Last year the Allan Moore Medical Service Blood Donor Challenge resulted in 340 donations. This year will mark the blood drive's 10th year and a mark the blood drive’s 10th year and a new challenge for members of the Medical Service. The top three teams will receive grand prizes, and all presenting challenge participants will receive a special T-shirt with Moore’s trademark bow tie.

“When you donate blood or convince a buddy to donate, you honor Allan’s memory and his vision,” says Palamara McGrath.

For more information about the Medical Service Challenge, email Cronin at or call 617-726-8165.

Read more articles from the 04/25/14 Hotline issue.


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