March 1, 2022 – Formed just six months ago, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC)
has continued its rapid growth to now include 30 community blood centers which operate in 37
states across the U.S., resulting in a majority of the nation’s blood operators now being part of
the program. READ MORE
March 1, 2022 – Formed just six months ago, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC)
CHARLESTON, S.C. (Feb. 9, 2022) – The Blood Connection (TBC), an independently managed, non-profit community blood center is now a supplemental blood provider for MUSC Health. READ MORE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Grand Rapids Community College has announced a new scholarship program that will cover full tuition costs for four students each year who enroll in the college’s phlebotomy program. READ MORE
JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As a result of the nationwide blood shortage, Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) joined the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps Program, which helps gets blood to people in need during a mass transfusion disaster.
Blood centers in the program commit to collecting extra units on a rotating schedule to create an available supple quickly for emergency needs, and MBS leaders said they are proud to be apart of the program. READ MORE
Dec. 13, 2021 – On Saturday morning, the Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) activated in response to the devastating tornadoes that struck several midwestern and southern states overnight. Blood products were shipped by partnering blood centers to ensure Blood Assurance in Chattanooga, Tenn. had access to a needed blood supply in support of patient transfusions in Nashville, Tenn. READ MORE
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
# # #
Bloodworks Northwest Media Contact:
Alliance for Community Transfusion Services Media Contact:
Nelson Hellwig, MBA
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 initial blood center partners are the Oklahoma Blood Institute, California’s Houchin Community Blood Bank, The Community Blood Center in Wisconsin, Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank and Texas’ We Are Blood, South Texas Blood & Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare. The network is expected to expand rapidly.
“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