Back to Top Skip to main content

ASBP bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on Dr. Glen Fitzpatrick

Picture of three men in military uniform A young Capt. Glen Fitzpatrick (center) poses with colleagues early in his blood program career. (Courtesy Photo.)

The Defense Health Agency’s Armed Services Blood Program recently announced retired Army Col. Glen Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. as the recipient of their annual Lifetime Achievement Award.

During a 40-plus-year career in blood banking, Fitzpatrick has made significant contributions to the American warfighter, as well as served in key capacities during major U.S. military operation, including Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm, the U.S. response to the September 11th terror attacks and the initial blood planning support for the Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

“With four decades of outstanding leadership as a blood banking expert matched only by his commitment to the warfighter, we are honored to present the 2020 ASBP Lifetime Achievement Award to Col. Fitzpatrick,” said Army Col. Audra Taylor, division chief, ASBP. “His career is truly great in scope and accomplishment.”

Fitzpatrick received his B.S. in biological science at Colorado State University, and after his induction into the Army went on to earn his M.S. in biology and Ph.D. in immunology at Bowling Green State University.

In 1975, Fitzpatrick started his Army career as a medical field specialist with the 629th Medical Company as a clearing platoon leader at Ford Ord, California.

Afterwards, he held several laboratory positions, including blood bank chief at Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, Washington from 1983-1985; and then laboratory manager at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii from 1987-1988.

While serving as Joint Blood Program Officer for the European Command from 1988-1991, Fitzpatrick provided oversight in planning and distribution of all blood support operations for Operations Desert Shield and Storm. He modified doctrine and policy, revised regulations on blood support, and adjusted cumbersome planning factors that helped conserve crucial inventories.

As a medical planner for EUCOM (which at the time included Africa), Fitzgerald provided timely blood support for emergencies such as the 1998 air show disaster at Ramstein Air Base, various embassy evacuations and unique events like space shuttle launches, and special forces operations.

As the deputy director of the Armed Services Blood Program Office from 1996-1999, Fitzpatrick directed research and development for advanced blood products. He was responsible for developing the plan for modernizing the frozen blood program, coordinating with other agencies for funding and development of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers, fibrin bandage, cryopreserved platelets, and lyophilized platelets.

From 1999-2003, Fitzpatrick served as the director of ASBPO, where he was developed and implemented all DOD polices regarding blood collection, distribution, storage, and transfusion. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Fitzpatrick coordinated the national blood response for the. He obtained federal permission to fly blood products across the nation when all civilian aircraft were grounded, ensuring blood products were available where needed.

As a member of the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee, the AABB Technical Manual Committee, and the AABB Standards Committee, he brought great credit and distinction to the ASBP. Additionally, he was the first DoD member to become part of the AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism, a task force still in existence.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Wilbur Malloy, 2015’s ASBP Lifetime Achievement Award winner, remarked on Fitzpatrick’s many accomplishments in his ASBP career. “Colonel Fitzpatrick has been instrumental in changing clinical practice and has dedicated his professional expertise to the improvement of military medicine, national policy, corporate leadership, and innovative research in the field of blood banking and immunohematology. He has been the right person, in the right place, at the right time.”

“Colonel Mike Fitzpatrick was without a doubt the right leader at the helm during 9/11,” added retired Army Col. Francisco Rentas, ASBP director from 2008–2012 “His unparalleled and continued contributions to the ASBP are as vital today as they were 17 years ago when he retired from active duty. A life of selfless and unmatched service to the ASBP has earned him the respect and admiration of his colleagues and his peers.”

When Fitzpatrick retired from active duty in 2003, he continued a military blood connection, serving as the chief policy officer and chief operating officer for America’s Blood Centers.

In addition to his current role in the civilian sector, he continues to serve as a mentor and research advisor for ASBP Specialist in Blood Banking Fellowship.

“Fitzpatrick was there when the country needed him most during both war and peacetime,” Taylor stated. “He ensured the military had access to the blood products it needed, carried out groundbreaking research, and worked with the international blood banking community to create synergy which benefitted the warfighter. ASBP owes him profound gratitude.”

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.