Wilkes-Barre, Pa., April 20, 2022—King’s College biology laboratory director Valerie Musto received the 2022 Give Life Hero award for her outstanding contributions to the American Red Cross in consistently leading regional blood drives.

King’s College is recognized for operating one of the most successful collegiate blood programs in the region, hosting two to three drives each year. For the 2021-22 academic year, the College collected 165 units of blood that will assist up to 495 patients in need of life saving blood products. 

Musto, who resides in Dallas, Pa., joined King’s College in 1978 as a biology student and began working as an employee in 1984. She began the King’s College Blood Council, comprised of students across disciplines, which helps plan and organize volunteers for each drive.

“From the day I started my college career at King’s, I was drawn to helping at the blood drives,” says Musto. “I saw what an important cause this was and continued to work toward helping collect as many units as we could and became a blood donor myself. What began within the Biology Department has spread to other clubs and organizations coming together for this worthwhile cause. It is truly a college-wide event.”

Each year, the American Red Cross recognizes unsung heroes in the community—individuals or teams who greatly impact the lives of others and inspire others to go above and beyond to serve others. The Give Life award is presented to an individual whose commitment to blood and platelet donation played a significant role in ensuring the health of patients in our communities and throughout the country. The award acknowledges Musto’s hard work, along with employees and students, in making blood drives approachable with exciting themes and prizes.

"As the Red Cross has navigated the pandemic along with numerous factors impacting the national blood supply, Valerie’s leadership and dedication to helping others has gone unmatched,” said Sherry Nealon, executive director of the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter. “Her efforts to host drives and recruit donors has ensured that lifesaving blood and blood products are available to people facing emergencies and receiving critical care. Valerie’s commitment to providing help and hope by hosting and coordinating these drives has ultimately saved lives. We’re honored to recognize Valerie with the 2022 Give Life Hero Award."

In addition to serving a strong need within the community, campus blood drives provide hands-on experience for not only science students but also all disciplines while modeling leadership and service. Individuals interested in learning more about blood drives should email Valerie Musto at valeriemusto@kings.edu.

Valerie Musto