Kentucky Medical Schools Come Together for State-Wide Blood Drive

The University of Kentucky College of Medicine has teamed up with other medical schools in the state for MedMadness – a month-long blood donation competition.

Since it started on May 1, the UK College of Medicine, the University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Pikeville have been competing to see which Kentucky medical school community will have the most donors on their team.

The idea for the contest came from a few medical students at UK who were ready to do anything they could to help the cause.

“MedMadness was inspired by the critical need for blood donations to continue during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Carter Baughman, a third-year UK medical student and one of the organizers of the event. “As medical students, we want to do anything we can to support our health care community.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are encouraging those who are well to donate blood during this time. Blood donation is safe and necessary to help COVID-19 patients.

“When COVID-19 struck Kentucky, I was amazed by how much everyone in the community wanted to help,” said third-year UK medical student Lauren Harris.

All volunteer (non-paid) donations will be considered in the total of the medical school of the donor’s choosing. The students wanted to make it a competition to encourage the Kentucky community to get involved and enjoy doing it.

“The main goal we had in mind was to encourage Kentuckians to help Kentuckians,” said first-year UK medical student Jodi Llanora. “Since the kick-off date, we’ve watched the Kentucky community come together, regardless of which medical school is supported – and it’s saving lives.”

Enduring medical school at any time is a challenging task, and a global pandemic does not ease the burden. However, these medical students see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“As future physicians, it’s our calling to serve our community, and it’s initiatives like MedMadness that help me find purpose in all of this uncertainty,” said Llanora. “Knowing that I’m able to help in some way, shape or form, brings me comfort and keeps me moving forward.”

For more information on MedMadness and how to get involved, visit the event’s Facebook page.