Thank You for Saving Lives
Whether in our community or beyond, blood donors perform daily miracles. Statistics show that about every two seconds someone, somewhere will need blood. It could be a young child undergoing chemotherapy, a victim of a car accident, or a patient receiving an organ transplant. With your help we never have to consider this question, “Will there be enough of this life-saving gift available the day you, a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker needs it?” While The Blood Connection’s high standard of quality and service continues to be made possible because of selfless and loyal blood donors, it is also made possible by a dedicated staff of employees and volunteers who view themselves as stewards of the blood supply. These stewards are the heart of our organization, sharing a common vision and a dedication to the mission. On behalf of all of us at The Blood Connection, we thank you for your generous spirit that allows us to fulfill our mission, and in turn, make a life-saving difference in the lives of so many patients in the community.
Origins of the Blood Connection
In 1962, the Greenville Blood Assurance Plan was formed to help supply the needs of Greenville County by recruiting volunteer blood donors for hospitals. The late Dr. E. Arthur “Art” Dreskin was the chief architect and medical director. This Greenville Blood Assurance Plan was the area’s first coordinated effort to ‘connect’ blood donations to patients in need. This was the early beginning of what we know today as The Blood Connection. In 1973, the board of the Greenville Blood Assurance Plan began discussing the possibility of a regional blood program with hospitals, medical societies, and concerned citizens in the neighboring counties. In 1977, a charter for the blood program was obtained, and a board of trustees (with representatives from the South Carolina counties of Greenwood, Laurens, Abbeville, Greenville, Pickens and Oconee) was formed. A board committee named Gene A. Erickson as executive director. In 1978, The Greenville Blood Assurance Plan was officially merged into a new organization called Carolina Blood Center, and a grand opening was held in 1979. With the opening of Carolina Blood Center, the area’s blood collection and distribution resources were now coordinated under one organization. In 2000, the Board of Trustees adopted the mission-oriented name The Blood Connection indicative of our role: connecting healthy, community citizens (blood donors…our mission benefactors) with ill or injured community citizens (patients…our mission beneficiaries).
Completing Our Mission
The Blood Connection truly understands that its first order of business is the blood supply. We continually assess the ever-changing needs of our hospital partners and establish goals that ensure we provide what is needed. Strategic goal setting and the pursuit of these goals are the driving forces behind our operation. We know that achieving daily blood collection goals ensures and adequate inventory to meet the needs of the community. Another important aspect of our mission is cost-effectiveness, and meeting a self-imposed mandate that our service fees be at least 15% below national averages. The third leg of our mission, safety for all, is equally important, and we meet or exceed all blood supply collecting, processing, and testing requirements.
Areas of Service
Approximately 1,661,259 people live in a 8,390 square mile area of Northwestern South Carolina, Western North Carolina and Northeastern Georgia that is the area in which The Blood Connection recruits and collects donors. South Carolina counties include Greenville, Spartanburg, Pickens, Oconee, Greenwood, Laurens, and Newberry. The Blood Connection also collects blood in Stephens County, Georgia and Polk, Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania, McDowell, Macon, and Mitchell Counties in North Carolina.
Following is a list of The Blood Connection hospital partners: Angel Medical Center, Asheville VA Medical Center, Baptist Easley Hospital, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital, Greenville Memorial Hospital, Greer Memorial Hospital, Highlands-Cashiers Hospital, Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, Laurens County HealthCare System, Mary Black Memorial Hospital, Mary Black Gaffney Hospital, McDowell Hospital, Mission Hospital, Newberry County Memorial Hospital, Oconee Medical Hospital, Pardee Hospital, Park Ridge Health, Patewood Memorial Hospital, Pelham Medical Center, Providence Hospital, Providence Hospital North East, Self Regional Healthcare System, Shriner Hospitals for Children – Greenville, Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital – Downtown, St. Francis Hospital – Eastside, St. Luke’s Hospital, Stephens County Hospital, Transylvania Regional Hospital, and Wallace Thomson Hospital. The Blood Connection reaches blood donors in several ways: through bloodmobiles, portable field units, and fixed donation sites. Fixed site donation centers are located in Greenville, Greenwood, Easley, Seneca, Spartanburg, and Hendersonville. New fixed site centers are considered when donor support is established.
Delivering Unparalleled Service Through Our People
We believe our employees are partners in delivering our services, and without them the organization could not exist. The Blood Connection is especially proud of its heritage of experienced people in key roles delivering services to our partner hospitals. These individuals have over 125 years of combined experience with The Blood Connection specifically. Our CEO and President, Delisa K. English, has enjoyed over 20 years in the blood banking industry. In 2010, Charles Pace, MT (ASCP), SBB, also a blood banking veteran, was hired to manage in-house Reference Lab services. This loyalty and dedication to the company offers assurance to hospitals and patients alike that they are all in qualified hands.