Red Cross Honors Dr. Charles R. Drew

Accomplished Scientist, Physician, Blood Researcher

In celebration of Black History Month, the Red Cross of Central Maryland and the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Region unveiled a bust of the late Dr. Charles Richard Drew, a respected physician who made important contributions to blood research. During the ceremony, Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele; Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, President of Southeastern University and daughter of the late Dr. Charles R. Drew; E. Francine Stokes, member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors; and Dr. Sally Campbell-Lee, Associate Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, gave personal accounts of Dr. Drew's impact on their own lives. Special guest soloists included singer (and Miss Maryland), Marina Harrison, and musician, Darwin Ray.

From l - r: E. Francine Stokes, Dr. Sally Campbell-Lee, Lt. Governor Michael S. Steele, Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, and Marina Harrison. Photo: Bob Stockfield

 In 1940, Dr. Charles R. Drew became the first African American to receive a doctoral degree in Medicine from Columbia University. His dissertation, ?Banked Blood: A Study in Preservation? began a revolution in medicine by introducing a system for the long-term storage of blood. In 1941, Dr. Drew established the American Red Cross blood bank, of which he was the first director, and pioneered the use of blood plasma on the battlefield saving countless lives during WWII. Later, Dr. Drew developed "Bloodmobiles," mobile units used to collect and refrigerate plasma and whole blood thereby increasing its shelf-life--a system the Red Cross still uses today.
The bust of Dr. Drew will remain on display in the main lobby of the American Red Cross building located at 4700 Mount Hope Drive, in Baltimore.