As the blood and biotherapies field continues to address workforce shortages and related issues, AABB is committed to providing resources to help mitigate these challenges.
In addition to offering educational opportunities for professionals who are established in blood and biotherapies, AABB is doubling down on initiatives that will cultivate the field’s future leaders. This page highlights some of AABB’s efforts and provides links to research and articles that might assist health care leaders in advocating for resources within their organizations.
Hear from Dr. Don Siegel, a pioneer in the biotherapies field, as he outlines employee retention challenges and the initiatives he implemented to help significantly increase employee retention among the cellular therapies technical staff at the University of Pennsylvania.
“With almost 25% of blood bank supervisors expected to retire by the middle of the decade, coupled with the explosive growth in biotherapies, our field's workforce challenges have reached a critical mass that may impact patient safety and impede progress that could improve outcomes. We owe it to the donors, patients and professionals in the field to address this critical shortage.”
— Dave Green, President & CEO, Vitalant
In response to shortages of qualified professionals to fill positions in the rapidly expanding field of biotherapies, AABB developed the AABB Certified Advanced Biotherapies Professional (CABP), the first credentialing program for biotherapies professionals. Volunteer experts devoted more than 4,000 hours to develop this exam that benefits the entire biotherapies field by establishing minimum standards of competence, identifying qualified and proficient professionals, and advancing safety and quality.
AABB is developing a certificate program designed to equip emerging leaders with the skills and knowledge to move into and thrive in leadership roles. The course outline, which was created by more than a dozen subject matter experts in the field and in accordance with ANSI/ASTM E2659 standards, incorporates high-level domains that were identified as the skills and knowledge necessary for emerging supervisors to succeed in a blood banking and transfusion medicine laboratory setting.
The certificate program is expected to be released in 2023 with registration open by the 2023 AABB Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.
AABB provides year-round access to educational activities that provide both technical training as well as opportunities to build leadership skills. Visit aabb.org/education to see the full catalog. Examples of certificates, courses, and eCasts include:
AABB collaborates with industry partners in the field to support the front-line professionals. For example, a scholarship program, funded through a generous grant from Abbott, provided 154 early-career professionals complimentary access to their choice of one of four AABB courses:
Companies interested in funding scholarships should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Members, watch your emails and AABB Weekly Report for announcements of future scholarships.
The AABB Foundation has been supporting career development opportunities for early-career researchers since 1983. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided almost $12 million dollars to more than 200 grant recipients, often their initial seed funding to kick off long and distinguished careers in blood and biotherapies. Many of the early recipients have grown to become the field’s leading experts and are recognized in the Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
AABB understands the strength in numbers and is collaborating with various organizations through coalitions to collectively address workforce challenges in the field. Below are links to partnering organizations’ workforce webpages, which include invaluable resources:
AABB wishes to thank Abbott for its generous support of workforce initiatives.