Alvin W. Drake

Alvin Drake is a faculty at MIT and his background is in operations research on the delivery of public services.

  • The American Blood Supply

    Issues and Policies of Blood Donation

    Alvin W. Drake, Stanley Finkelstein, and Harvey Sapolsky

    Most of us hear only bad things about the blood supply in the United States. We are told that the supply is chronically low, that most people won't donate, that we depend too much on paid and possibly unsafe donors, and that many other countries have more generous people and better blood supplies.The American Blood Supply examines these and other claims and, after a realistic consideration of the facts, its conclusions are "short on scandal and long on praise." The authors find that the blood collection agencies and the present number of blood donors (more than half the people eligible to donate whole blood, they estimate, have done so at least once) are producing efficiently, for most purposes and situations, a sufficient supply of blood components and blood-based pharmaceuticals. American plasma collections are adequate both to meet internal needs and to provide for considerable export. The book covers alternative blood collection ideologies, blood safety and disease transmission considerations, the nonprofit organizations that collect almost the entire whole blood supply, the pharmaceutical industry that collects and processes plasma (most of it from paid plasmapheresis donors), public attitudes and participation in the blood supply, comparisons with practices in other countries, and identification of important unresolved problem areas. The authors' concerns for the future of the blood supply include the governance and performance of regional blood supply monopolies and the integrity of blood collection messages delivered to the public.

    This book is the fifth in the series Health and Public Policy, edited by Jeffrey Harris.

    • Hardcover $32.50
  • Analysis Of Public Systems

    Alvin W. Drake, Ralph L. Keeney, and Philip M. Morse

    This book presents leading recent studies on the application of formal modeling for improved delivery of public services. It very significant updates and extends the type of material found in Operations Research for Public Systems, which began to organize studies about public systems.

    The book opens with a set of overviews and perspectives by authors with broad experience in the analysis, planning, and operation of public systems. Numerous case studies make up the remainder of the book. These range from large, vaguely defined issues (How do citizens communicate with their governments? What is a “clean air” program?) to the operation of particular systems (How does one propose and test operating rules for an urban fire department or for a regional blood bank?). In each instance, studies include motivation, model formulation, solution, implications, and state of implementation of results.

    Most of the chapters in Analysis of Public Systems can be read with or without detailed consideration of their technical content. For clarity and compactness, much of the intermediate mathematical detail is reference to other sources. The editors and authors have striven to make it possible for administrators, who many have limited analytic backgrounds, to use this book to develop their own views on the place of formal analysis in system planning and operation.

    • Hardcover $40.00