PEORIA, Ill. — It was announced Wednesday that the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) will become the blood provider for UnityPoint hospitals around the area.
“We’re the local provider to our hospitals so the blood that is provided to patients here comes from donors that give with our organization. We rely exclusively on volunteers to help us with our mission. I highly encourage anyone to try [donating blood]. If they haven’t volunteered to give blood before…it’s so much easier than they think it is.”Amanda Hess, Director of Donor & Public Relations for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
The MVRBC will provide blood to UnityPoint Health – Methodist, UnityPoint Health – Proctor, and UnityPoint Health – Pekin, all effective Jan. 1, 2020. They will additionally open a Peoria Donor Center at 1123 W. Glen Ave. in late December. The facility will be open Tuesday-Saturday with appointments available for whole blood, platelet, and double red cell donations. Hours of operations are anticipated from mid-morning through early evening Tuesday through Thursday and on Friday and Saturday mornings.
“It’s about the donor to the patient and it’s critical for blood donors to understand what’s happening with their donation,” said Kirby Winn, Manager of Public Relations for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. “It was important for our blood center to have a local inventory management distribution hub. Really, the blood is already on the shelves in the hospital, whenever there is an urgent need we need to have a ready supply and staff available just down the street.”
This was announced at an open house and ribbon-cutting event on Wednesday for the MVRBC Inventory Management and Distribution Center and Mobile Blood Drive Hub at 2404 W. Nebraska Ave. The location will serve as MVRBC’s local distribution hub and as the home base for MVRBC’s local blood drives.
MVRBC became the blood provider to OSF HealthCare locations in central Illinois last March.
To ensure the blood center’s ability to meet patient needs at local hospitals, MVRBC is seeking groups and organizations willing to host mobile blood drives in the Peoria region. For more information, please contact Jim Watts, Donor Relations Manager at (217) 220-8686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, the Inventory Management and Distribution Center employs 12 staff members. The blood center plans to hire additional staff when it begin service to UnityPoint Health locations in Peoria and Pekin com Jan. 2020.