Aviva Klein was recently named a 2021 recipient of the Diana Award
, which honors young people for social action and humanitarian efforts. Klein received the award for her advocacy to increase and improve the supply of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Klein is CEO of the University Blood Initiative (UBI), which she co-founded in 2017 while volunteering to save her local blood center at the University of Chicago. The organization seeks to educate and mobilize the next generation of young, diverse campus donors and now includes more than 600 members in 24 chapters nationwide.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UBI began collaborating with leaders and partners of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project
, expanding nationally and taking a leading role in building campus and community awareness of the importance of CCP. Through the national #Push4Plasma campaign
, UBI successfully enrolled university faculty, staff, alumni, students and community members to donate their blood and CCP.
“We recently completed a population-level study of CCP use across the United States and found that it saved as many as 100,000 lives,” said Arturo Casadevall, MD, PhD, chair, Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University. “This would not have happened without the enormous work and support of donors and people who mobilized to help like Aviva Klein and University Blood Initiative, whose efforts helped ensure a plentiful supply of live-saving convalescent plasma.”
AABB’s CEO Debra BenAvram applauded Klein and the UBI for their efforts to encourage young Americans to donate blood, which will lead to improved stability for the blood supply and help ensure lifesaving blood is available for patients when it is needed.
Additional information about the Diana Award
is available online.