The Leukemia & Lymphoma (LLS) Society Switches to AlertMedia to Proactively Protect Its Staff
- VisibilityEmpowers LLS to immediately identify and act on emerging threats that may impact its employees and volunteers.
- Peace of MindGives LLS staff confidence that they are safe and protected by the organization during critical events.
- EfficiencyEnables relevant, time-sensitive notifications to be quickly sent to individuals impacted by a nearby threat.
- ResilienceImproves business continuity and resilience by keeping the widely dispersed workforce informed and connected.
- Locations50 offices across 27 regions
- Employees1,000 employees and 5,000 volunteer supporters
- ProductsEmergency Communication Software, Threat Intelligence
- Primary UsesEmergency, Business Continuity, Operations, Inclement Weather
Keeping the Entire LLS Ecosystem Safe With Real-Time Threat Intelligence
As the largest voluntary health organization in the world dedicated to blood cancers, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) provides far-reaching support for blood cancer patients and their families. Leading the fight against blood cancer, LLS covers everything from pioneering research to education, advocacy, and other support.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS operates in 27 regions throughout the United States and Canada. LLS drives forward its mission with a staff of nearly 1,000 employees. The organization also has approximately 5,000 active supporters who give their time and talent to a variety of volunteer opportunities, both in-person and remote, across the organization.
To communicate about critical, time-sensitive events more effectively with its geographically dispersed employee network, LLS decided it was time to move away from its reliance on phone trees, weekly newsletters, and intranet communication alone.
After searching for a modern, user-friendly, and intuitive solution, LLS selected AlertMedia’s integrated threat intelligence and emergency communication solution to keep its staff informed at all times. As a result, LLS can now confidently protect its entire workforce and network, providing the 24/7 situational awareness employees need to keep themselves and volunteers safe.
Monitoring Emerging Threats and Communicating With a Dispersed, Hybrid Workforce
Doug MacNab, Senior Director of Operations at LLS, oversees the organization’s day-to-day business operations for all staff, as well as a significant number of volunteer supporters. MacNab needs to quickly and effectively communicate with these dispersed individuals to ensure employees’ safety during critical events. However, keeping everyone informed had become increasingly complex and time-consuming using manual notification methods such as phone trees.
A recent shift toward remote and hybrid work made emergency communication even more challenging. Without a centralized process for identifying and notifying workers of a wide variety of threats—from extreme weather to security concerns—responses were more reactive than proactive. “Remote work created new opportunities for us, but it also brought significant communication challenges,” says MacNab.
“Previously, regional offices could quickly gather everyone for a physical meeting, but now that we operate in a hybrid work environment, that’s not always possible,” adds MacNab. “Our intranet and weekly newsletters are great for general information, but we needed a new way to contact staff and volunteers quickly when there’s a crisis. During a high-severity emergency, we need to know it’s easy to send out messages and monitor the potential impact on our teams.”
Developing resilience—for the business and staff—is a focus area for LLS. “We try to prepare our staff proactively for potential incidents,” says MacNab. “When it comes to something like a hurricane or winter storm, we want to know their pre-storm plan and post-storm status. Before the storm hits, are they prepared? After the storm, are they safe? Do they need any additional support? Safety is paramount because until safety is established, there can be no productivity.”
“We have 18 separate response plans, and whenever a crisis is identified, we bring together the crisis management team,” says Roger Garate, Business Continuity Manager at LLS. “Before AlertMedia, we got our threat intelligence information exclusively from news channels. This meant we often got delayed or inaccurate information, preventing us from giving our staff the level of situational awareness they needed.”
Moving to an Integrated Threat Intelligence and Emergency Communication Solution
Before transitioning to AlertMedia, LLS tried a different communication platform, but it was difficult to use and offered no threat intelligence insights. Using AlertMedia’s integrated threat intelligence solution and emergency communication platform, LLS can now monitor potential threats across the U.S. and Canada and quickly notify impacted individuals of any actions or precautions they may need to take. “We primarily use AlertMedia to communicate with full- and part-time LLS staff. But when we run community events—like our Light the Night walks—we also use AlertMedia to actively monitor for potential threats that may impact event volunteers,” says MacNab.
“One of the main reasons we selected AlertMedia was its ability to combine emergency notifications with threat intelligence,” says Garate. When one of the regions LLS works in was impacted by Hurricane Ian, the staff there were amazed by the swift communication and outreach—something they hadn’t experienced using a prior solution. With AlertMedia, LLS was able to rapidly identify which employees were in the path of the hurricane and use the solution’s survey feature to perform employee wellness checks.
“The usability of both the mobile app and web interface is amazing,” says Garate. “Straight out of the box, it was all so easy to use. We can immediately see when a threat is identified and which team members could be impacted. We sent our first notification from the app without any formal training because everything is so intuitive.”
Finding a software tool that can provide real-time updates on potential threats—and allow LLS to communicate with impacted employees—has been invaluable. The context provided by threat intelligence alerts enables the team to make the right judgments about activating specific business continuity plans. The LLS crisis management team reviews every threat alert and decides which notification to send and to whom. “AlertMedia helps us immediately understand how a critical event may impact our teams so we can make the right decisions to protect them,” says Garate.
As an organization with a strong focus on care, support, and well-being—it’s only natural that this ethos also extends to how LLS takes care of its staff. The ability to use the location tracking feature when employees download the AlertMedia app means it’s quick and easy to identify if they’re close to any emerging threats and notify them accordingly.
Adds MacNab, “Our people are our primary asset. We’re focused on reducing business risk through resilience—and AlertMedia allows us to take a proactive approach to monitoring threats.”
Keeping LLS Employees and Volunteers Safe So They Can Focus on Their Life-Saving Work
AlertMedia is helping LLS teach its staff and volunteers how to respond effectively and proactively when a critical event impacts them. “We want to equip our team with the information they need to respond when there’s a threat nearby,” says Garate.
Developing a resilient organization requires proactive monitoring of potential threats that may affect any individual in its wide network of staff and supporters. AlertMedia enables LLS to do just that. “One of our goals with AlertMedia is to use it to build a kind of muscle memory for everyone working at the organization,” says MacNab. “That involves ensuring we equip our employees with the knowledge of how to respond when they receive a threat notification. AlertMedia helps us ingrain the importance of developing a resilient response to threats.”
Looking to the future, LLS plans to use AlertMedia’s event page functionality to deliver ongoing communication throughout every stage of an LLS event, from the planning stage to the event day and beyond. “LLS holds hundreds of events every year. By integrating these events as groups in AlertMedia, we can visualize them both before and after,” says Garate. Event pages can be shared with specific groups of employees and volunteers, with notifications to alert everyone of updates—including relevant weather warnings and instructions related to evacuation routes.
Strengthening Business Resilience and Continuity Through Emergency Preparedness
Using AlertMedia’s emergency communication and threat intelligence solution, LLS can identify and quickly act on emerging threats to improve the safety of its employees and volunteers. With the goal of rolling out additional capabilities for communicating with staff at events across the U.S., LLS is creating a robust strategy for emergency preparedness.
“For LLS, the three biggest factors that matter are usability of the technology, having access to real-time threat intelligence, and ensuring up-to-date contact information for all our employees ready to use,” says Garate. “AlertMedia offers all of this. Having AlertMedia as our technology partner has enabled LLS to achieve its business continuity and emergency preparedness goals.”
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