Last modified: 2022-06-04 by rick wyatt
Keywords: united states | vitalant | united blood services |
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image by Ian Sumner, 14 April 2022
On June 17, 1941, the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank opened its doors in response
to the lack of a sufficient method of obtaining and storing blood for later use
– by both the military and community hospitals in the San Francisco area. The
aim was to ensure that patients in the Bay Area would never again be without an
adequate supply of blood. Irwin Memorial Blood Bank is credited as the first
community blood bank in the United States.
The San Francisco County Medical Society granted the fledgling blood bank permission to operate out of the basement floor of an old San Francisco home, the Irwin Mansion. However, after years of growth, the blood bank had expanded its blood collection operations throughout Northern California, and it soon became clear that a bigger facility was needed for its headquarters. In April 1955, Irwin opened its new doors at Masonic and Turk Streets in San Francisco. The Blood Centers of the Pacific headquarters still exist at this location today.
In 1997, the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank merged with the Peninsula Memorial Blood Bank to become Blood Centers of the Pacific, reflecting its larger service area. In 1999, Blood Centers of the Pacific affiliated with United Blood Services, the nation’s largest blood collection organization. Blood Centers of the Pacific merged with the Sacramento area's BloodSource blood center in 2015; United Blood Services changed its corporate brand name in 2018 to Vitalant and retired all of its regional brand names.
The Blood Systems Research Institute was housed at Blood Centers of the Pacific. It changed its name to Vitalant Research Institute as part of the rebranding"
"The main blood bank that became United Blood Services was founded in 1943 as the Salt River Valley Blood Bank in Phoenix, Arizona, by Opal Davis and Kitty Baldwin. Not long after its creation, parent company Blood Systems, Inc., was formed. Other blood banks that later became part of Blood Systems were founded in this same time period, including Blood Centers of the Pacific—whose predecessor, the Irwin Memorial Blood Bank, was founded in 1941 as the first community blood bank in the United States—and the Inland Northwest Blood Center (1945). Blood Systems was the first interstate blood bank, operating under multiple names; by 1967, it served 850 hospitals in 12 states. The youngest predecessor to Vitalant, LifeSource, was created in 1987 by the merger of the Blood Center of Northern Illinois with operations of the American Red Cross in the Chicago area. The company grew through mergers with other blood centers. On September 24, 2018, Blood Systems merged all of its existing brands under the Vitalant name. These included Lifeblood, Blood Centers of the Pacific, BloodSource, Bonfils Blood Center, Central Blood Bank, Community Blood Services, Inland Northwest Blood Center, LifeShare, LifeSource, and United Blood Services."
"Many community blood centers were formed at the height of WWII to support the troops fighting overseas and communities at home. The organizations that make up Vitalant share a heritage of creating moments of awe for those in need – no matter where they may be.
1941: Irwin Memorial Blood Bank founded in San Francisco
1943: Salt River Valley Blood Bank founded in Phoenix
1943: Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank founded in Denver
1945: Spokane Community Blood Bank founded
1948: Sacramento Medical Foundation founded
1948: LifeShare Community Blood Services founded in Northeast Ohio
1951: Central Blood Bank founded in Pittsburgh
1951: Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (BBSBRC) founded
1953: Community Blood Services founded in the New Jersey/New York region
1959: Scientific Services/Research department formed at Irwin Memorial Blood Bank
1963: Lifeblood founded in Memphis
1987: Blood Center of Northern Illinois and American Red Cross – Mid-America Region merge to form LifeSource in Chicagoland"
"As transfusion medicine grew as a discipline, blood banks transformed into blood centers to better reflect their expanded services.
1956: Spokane Community Blood Bank becomes Spokane and Inland Empire Blood Bank
1971: Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank becomes Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center (Bonfils Blood Center)
1992: Spokane and Inland Empire Blood Bank becomes Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC)
1997: Irwin Memorial Blood Bank and Peninsula Blood Bank merge to become Blood Centers of the Pacific
2002: Sacramento Medical Foundation becomes BloodSource
2004: Blood Centers of the Pacific research arm renamed Blood Systems Research Institute
2011: Blood Bank of the Redwoods and Blood Centers of the Pacific merge
2016: Blood Centers of the Pacific and BloodSource merge"
"To better serve their patients, hospitals began merging into large health care systems in the 90s and continue to consolidate today. To ensure life-transforming gifts from donors across the country continue to be available when and where they are needed most, blood centers followed the lead of hospitals by joining together.
2015: Community Blood Services joins Blood Systems
2016: Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC) joins Blood Systems
2017: LifeSource, part of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM), joins Blood Systems
2017: Blood Centers of the Pacific and BloodSource join Blood Systems
2017: Bonfils Blood Center joins Blood Systems
2018: Central Blood Bank joins Blood Systems"
image by Esteban Rivera, 17 April 2022
Image located by Masao Okazaki (logo:
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/f9/a4/b2/f9a4b2b54d34bea8e042444c06665b23--walter-obrien-.jpg, source: https://co.pinterest.com/pin/451345193888907179/)
For additional information go to Vitalant (official website): https://vitalant.org/
Esteban Rivera, 17 April 2022