The Massachusetts General Hospital Bloodmobile hosts blood drives at local schools and businesses by transforming parking lots into donation centers with just a few turns of the wheel. Pasquale Caputo has been driving the bloodmobile for 19 years, transporting vital donations to the hospital—that is, until COVID-19 forced the closure of schools and businesses, and subsequently most blood drives.
With his usual role put on pause, Caputo decided to make himself available for whatever tasks the hospital needed assistance with. He worked in the main campus lobby distributing masks to employees and patients while also doing whatever he could to help the Blood Donor Center run more smoothly. He greeted donors, directed them to available waiting rooms and worked to ensure they were processed in a timely and comfortable manner. He also helped to sanitize waiting areas, common areas and donation areas between each donor.
“We are one team at the Blood Donor Center,” says Caputo. “We all do what we have to do to get blood for our patients.”
Since he wasn’t able to put rubber to the road in the bloodmobile, Caputo instead took to the hospital corridors to keep the Blood Donor Center snacks well stocked with provisions from Nutrition and Food Services, picked up supplies and delivered blood samples to the lab for the Patient Care Services office. He also filled in for the administrative assistant when she was out of the office, answering calls from donors and unloading incoming supply shipments for the office.
“Pasquale’s job completely changed overnight,” says Kim Cronin, manager of Donor Services at the Mass General Blood Donor Center. “The minute drives started to get cancelled, Pasquale stepped forward and asked ‘What can I do?’ He helped with anything that was asked of him and he did it with a smile.”