Nation’s first emergency blood reserve doubles in size Blood Emergency Readiness Corps grows to 19 blood centers serving 18 states
Nov. 9, 2021 – Formed just eight weeks ago, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) has more than doubled its size to include participation from 19 community blood centers which operate in 18 states across the U.S. READ MORE
Kentucky Blood Center is pleased to announce a new partnership with The Milk Bank, a nonprofit improving health outcomes for premature and ill infants. Starting Monday, October 4, 2021, four KBC locations will begin serving as Milk Depot locations where approved donors can drop off donations of frozen breast milk. READ MORE
CINCINNATI (August 1, 2021) – Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati is pleased to announce the promotion of Caroline Alquist, MD, PhD, F(ACHI) and Judith Gonzalez, BS, MT(ASCP), CLT, to the Cabinet of the blood center management team. Alquist will serve as the Chief Transplant-Services Officer and Gonzalez as the Chief Production Officer. READ MORE
September 24, 2021 – Bloodworks Northwest in Seattle, Washington joins the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS) – a strategic and operational alliance of independent blood centers committed to improving efficiency, operations, and opportunities to best serve donors and patients.
Bloodworks Northwest, based in Seattle, WA is the 14th independent blood center to join the ACTS. The Alliance was formed in 2010 to strengthen relationships between community blood programs and their local hospitals and stakeholders.
“We’re honored to have Bloodworks Northwest join our Alliance,” said Nelson Hellwig, chief executive officer of ACTS. “Adding such a highly regarded blood center with its outstanding leadership and robust services will make our group stronger and more successful in the lifesaving work we do. Additionally, having a powerful presence in the Pacific Northwest significantly elevates our capacity to share resources and best practices.”
“Bloodworks Northwest is pleased to be part of such a collaborative network of independent blood centers that are responsible for ensuring a safe and reliable blood supply across many areas of the nation,” said Curt Bailey, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest. “We are excited by the prospect of working together toward ongoing improvements in service to our communities.”
About Bloodworks Northwest
Bloodworks Northwest is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients at hospitals in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. Learn more at bloodworksnw.org.
About the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services
The Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a strategic and operational alliance of independent blood centers that annually collect, process, and distribute more than 1.75 million blood products to over 800 healthcare facilities and provide various technical services, therapeutic treatments and cellular laboratory operations throughout the United States. Other ACTS members include Carter BloodCare (Dallas/Fort Worth, TX), Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank (Hershey, PA), Coastal Bend Blood Center (Corpus Christi, TX), Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (Springfield, MO), Houchin Community Blood Bank (Bakersfield, CA), LifeShare Blood Center (Shreveport, LA), MEDIC Regional Blood Center (Knoxville, TN), Oklahoma Blood Institute (Oklahoma City, OK), Shepeard Community Blood Center (Augusta, GA), South Texas Blood and Tissue Center (San Antonio, TX), SunCoast Blood Centers (Sarasota, FL), Community Blood Center (Appleton, WI) and We Are Blood (Austin, TX).
ACTS members collectively meet challenges and support one another through shared resources, group initiatives, and collective expertise. Through this unique collaboration, ACTS members enjoy the scaled economic benefits typically associated with large, centralized operations without sacrificing the qualitative benefits of independent, community blood banking.
NEWS RELEASE Valerie Trammell, Director of Community Relations
Oklahoma Blood Institute firstname.lastname@example.org | (405) 615-3851 (cell)
Blood centers launch nation’s first emergency blood reserve Partnership of seven community blood centers launches today
OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 9, 2021 – Facing an increasingly unsteady blood supply, a group of community blood centers have founded a first-in-the-nation partnership to prepare their areas for emergency situations where blood needs are high.
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) is composed of seven blood centers from five states that have committed to collecting extra blood units on a rotating, “on call” schedule. The extra blood products will be held in reserve for any critical-need scenario, like a mass shooting or natural disaster.
“The ugly reality that COVID brought to blood collectors is a disturbing uncertainty and scarcity in the blood supply,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “When disaster strikes, BERC will give us more confidence that the immediate transfusion needs can be met. Unfortunately, we must adapt, because we are not seeing donor awareness or response following recent high-injury events like the summer shootings in Austin, Texas (14 victims) and Queens, New York (10 victims). BERC provides Oklahoma and our partner states a ready-to-go supply of blood to fill the holes appearing in our disaster response fabric.”
The nation’s blood centers have faced widespread blood shortages in recent months, creating a severely strained national safety net for mass traumas and other high casualty disasters.
“When faced with a mass-need event, blood centers across the country have relied on patchwork pleas for additional blood resources,” said Nelson Hellwig, chief executive officer at the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS). “States that had extra blood on hand might send units, but there was nothing that a blood center could count on other than undefined goodwill. With BERC, partner blood centers will know exactly how much emergency blood is available and where it will come from.”
BERC has partnered with ACTS to coordinate the activation of the emergency reserve when needed. Each blood center will be collecting extra blood products as part of its on-call schedule. Drive coordinators and donors will be asked to step up to a higher calling of guardianship to cover possible coast-to-coast needs.
If no emergency situation arises, the blood products will be returned to the collecting center’s general inventory, to be used for local blood needs. Participating centers will rotate inventory coverage, starting on a 3 week cycle.
The Blood Emergency Readiness Corps was founded in 2021 to meet the immediate transfusion needs of partner centers when faced with a large-scale emergency situation that requires blood transfusions. To learn more and see a list of participating blood centers, visit bloodemergencyreadinesscorps.org.
With origins in the 1950s, Carter BloodCare is a nonprofit community blood center serving 200 medical facilities with life-saving blood and blood components to support patients in North, Central, and East Texas. For more information, visit carterbloodcare.org.
The Community Blood Center was established in 1955 and continues today as an independent nonprofit providing a safe and reliable blood supply to hospitals in the Midwest. CBC has donor centers in Wisconsin (Appleton, Oshkosh, Little Chute and Woodruff) and is opening a donor center in Chicago, Ill. in 2022. CBC hosts more than 100 blood drives every month. The Community Blood Center is a member of America’s Blood Centers (ABC) and Blood Centers of America (BCA) which are networks of independent community-based, not-for-profit blood centers supporting the blood needs for approximately 60% of the United States.For more information, please visit communityblood.org.
Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank is a not-for-profit, community based blood program, committed to providing a quality blood supply, responsive to community needs, in a cost effective manner. For more information, visit cpbb.org.
Houchin Community Blood Bank and its donors save lives by providing blood supplies to the communities we serve. Since we opened our doors in 1951, our community has saved countless lives through blood donations. We will continue our commitment to service at a local level while leading our organization into a new era of innovation and expansion. For more information, visit hcbb.com.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is the 6th-largest independent blood center in the nation, providing more than 90% of Oklahoma’s blood supply to over 160 hospitals and medical facilities. For more information, visit obi.org.
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center that provides blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to more than 100 hospitals and healthcare providers throughout Texas and beyond. For more information, visit biobridgeglobal.org.
We Are Blood has drawn Central Texans together since 1951 to provide and protect the community blood supply. By inspiring people to donate locally and to take pride in this precious shared resource, we’re making sure all Central Texans will continue to have access to life-saving blood when they need it. For more information, visit weareblood.org. The Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a strategic alliance of self-directed, independent blood centers that model the values of community blood banking and support one another through group initiatives, shared resources, and collective expertise. For more information, visit actscorp.org
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has launched eDelphyn, the next generation of blood banking software.
Though eDelphyn’s innovative system has been used internationally for automated blood management processes, the Houston-based blood center is the first in the US to implement the software. As a result, the system, developed by GPI USA, has been revamped from the ground up to meet US Food and Drug Administration regulations.
“Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s dedication to instilling control and quality in everything they do is reassuring to their community that the blood supply is in very good hands. We are looking forward to a continued partnership on improvements to our applications for the many years to come,” said Jeff Everett, VP Customer Operations at GPI USA.
The system’s simplicity is what first attracted Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to the software. The blood banking industry is a niche market, and there are few software options.
“Over the last three years, we’ve worked with GPI USA to rebuild its software into a system that is user-friendly, adaptable and specifically created to meet our needs,” said Bart Block, Associate Vice President, Management Information Systems.
One of the biggest challenges in adapting the software to meet FDA standards was identifying donors because social security numbers are private. GPI USA developed an algorithm to identify duplicate donor accounts and will continue to update eDelphyn to capture changes that will occur in the industry over the years.
As Gulf Coast Blood Center continues to grow its client testing services, eDelphyn includes a laboratory information system designed to integrate all of the center’s processes.
“At the end of the day, when the new system is fully utilized, eDelphyn will better help us meet our mission of saving lives,” Block said, “and that’s the most important factor as we upgrade our technology.”
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is the sole provider of blood and blood components 24/7 to more than 170 hospitals and health care facilities in a 26-county Texas Gulf Coast region. Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is a nonprofit organization and is accredited by the Food and Drug Administration. For more information or to help save lives, visit giveblood.org.
MEDIC Regional Blood Center in Knoxville, TN has joined twelve other independent blood centers in the Alliance for Community Transfusion Services (ACTS). ACTS was formed in 2010 to strengthen relationships between community blood programs and their local hospitals. READ MORE
New name unites Blood Center’s four-state service region under a single identity (May 3, 2021 | Davenport, Iowa) – In a change that will align its employees, donors, and volunteers of its four-state service region under a single identity, Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) is changing its name to ImpactLife. READ MORE
WEST WARWICK, R.I., April 21, 2021 – Citing exceptional efforts and partnership, Blood Centers of America (BCA) is recognizing 10 of its supply partners with the newly announced Critical Infusion Award, for helping to overcome the unique challenges the pandemic posed to the blood and plasma donation field.
BCA works with hundreds of suppliers that all kept the supply chain moving during critical months of the pandemic, but recipients of the Critical Infusion Award stood out for going above and beyond to solve logistics, testing and equipment supply challenges. Thanks to these suppliers, BCA was able to help facilitate/coordinate collections and help ensure that COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) was available for use in treating patients with the virus —while helping to maintain a secure and stable supply of blood and plasma for hospitals. READ MORE