Blood Assurance, Warren County’s sole provider of blood and blood products, celebrated 40 years of service last week. Since 1972, more than 1 million blood components have been given by local donors and processed by the regional blood center.
The need for a community blood center was discussed in the late 1960s as smaller hospitals struggled to keep adequate supplies available.
On June 1, 1972, the first Blood Assurance donor gave blood at Erlanger Medical Center. In 1977, Blood Assurance moved to its current location at 705 E. 4th Street in Chattanooga. There are now 11 donor centers and 10 bloodmobiles throughout 34 counties, serving as the only source of blood for more than 50 hospitals and healthcare facilities.
In 1998, River Park Hospital became the first hospital Blood Assurance served outside of its original service area. After the expansion to Warren County, the organization continued reaching out to outlying communities and hospitals to include the current service area.
“Even though Blood Assurance has been a part of our community for nearly 15 years, I think the public sometimes forgets the organization provides all of the blood used at River Park Hospital, and a majority of other surrounding hospitals – Highlands Medical Center in Sparta, DeKalb Community Hospital and Stones River Hospital to name just a few,” says Warren County Blood Assurance advisory board chairman Jeff Golden. “When you donate to Blood Assurance at a local drive or Blood Assurance facility, the blood stays in this region. You’re potentially saving the life of someone in this community.”
Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 pounds. With further donor eligibility questions, please call 1-800-962-0628.
Upcoming blood drives in Warren County include NHC Healthcare on June 8, Walgreens on June 14, and Raintree Manor on June 19. For blood drive times and additional information, visit www.bloodassurance.org/blooddrives.