Wisconsin Region spotlight: Q&A with Bradley Phillips

Every few months, we’re highlighting the incredible work toward the mission of the American Red Cross by one of our colleagues in the Wisconsin Region. Hopefully these short profiles provide a little light of positivity and inspiration across all lines of service in our humanitarian mission.

This first profile is on 40-year biomedical services Collections Material Coordinator (CMC) Bradley Phillips, who has personal connections with the need for blood products and also knows his way around a dartboard. Questions were asked by members of the Region communications team, and edited for style and space.

American Red Cross: Tell us a little about your professional background and your role at the Red Cross.

Bradley Phillips: I started my career with the Red Cross back in 1981 in Green Bay as a hospital services courier, working part-time, on-call every other day and weekend. I then transferred to Madison to take a full-time Mobile Unit Assistant (MUA, as the role was known as then) position for about a year-and-a-half until a position back in my hometown of Green Bay opened in the hospital services department.

Upon my return to Green Bay, I filled in for various positions including milk runner (nowadays referred to as courier or blood runner), activity (hospital calls) and periodic MUA work. I performed this miscellaneous work for approximately two years until the one and only Green Bay driver (at that time) unexpectedly went out for medical reasons, their unexpected situation led me to be able to step into my full-time role as an MUA.

While working as an MUA for many years I became an active member of the Local 1558 Union as a Steward until 2012 when I became Vice President. I remained in the role of an MUA until September 2019 when a Collections Material Coordinator (CMC) position opened. During my career, I thoroughly enjoyed being in the MUA position out on the road, I am also very happy in my current role as a CMC.

To people outside the Red Cross, how do you explain your job?

I tell people I prepare and load trucks for blood drives, keep the warehouse fully stocked by ordering and tracking inventory of all supplies as well as equipment, and monitor every blood drive to ensure each vital detail is in place for all mobile operations to run smoothly. I do so much more but one of my biggest roles is being that moral support for the drivers before they leave for their shifts.

What is your hidden talent? Or a hobby you have that people may not know about?

I am pretty good at throwing darts and enjoy playing darts with friends. By far one of my favorite pastimes is visiting northern Wisconsin, camping [there] with family and friends during the warm months of the year.

Has anyone in your immediate circle (family or friends) been helped by the Red Cross? If so, how?

Yes, my sister-in-law received blood during her pregnancy, and I received convalescent plasma while I was in the hospital fighting COVID-19 related complications.

Another way the American Red Cross has helped my family was when my 4-year-old granddaughter was in the hospital recovering from an accident. My American Red Cross family (co-workers) showed my granddaughter love and support by getting her fun activities like coloring books, toys and stuffed animals to help lift her spirits during her recovery.

What does the Red Cross mean to you?

It means everything! The American Red Cross has been such a huge part of my life for so many years. The American Red Cross gave me a chance to see so many little towns and meet so many people. I might not have ever had the chance to experience these things if it was not for my job traveling on the road throughout the years. You never really work in the same place and everywhere you go you see a new face.

What would you say to inspire someone to join the Red Cross as a blood donor, volunteer, or supporter?

The American Red Cross is an interesting, unique, and exciting place to work. The atmosphere, and the people, make the job fun all the while touching so many lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: