Contact: Thomas Hottman
The American Red Cross on Wednesday, May 24, unveiled a new, state-of-the- art mobile blood donation vehicle, which will serve communities in southern and central Oregon.
The five-bed vehicle is the first new Red Cross bloodmobile to serve this area in more than 20 years.
Sky Lakes Medical Center provided a $50,000 challenge grant toward the vehicle and provided considerable assistance with the regional fundraising. Klamath Medical Services Bureau Foundation, along with other generous contributors, also were instrumental in helping to raise funds to support this lifesaving initiative.
“Red Cross plays an indispensable role in the collection and distribution of blood and blood products to hospitals throughout Southern and Central Oregon,” said Paul Stewart, chief executive officer of Sky Lakes Medical Center. “We see the work Red Cross does in our community as an extension of our own work, and each blood donation as a testament of support for both the Red Cross and the lifesaving work that is carried out by Sky Lakes staff.”
“The need for blood is constant and a new, state-of-the-art bloodmobile will help us continue to meet this need,” said Carisa Hettich, executive director for the American Red Cross in Southwest Oregon. “Paul Stewart and Sky Lakes were key fundraising partners throughout the bloodmobile replacement project and continue to be tremendous supporters of the lifesaving work of the Red Cross in our community.”
The new 40-foot, five-bed Red Cross mobile donation bus will:
• Feature state-of-the-art technology for improved safety and reliability;
• Increase our ability to collect more donations due to an additional donor bed and health history booth and reversible donor beds which allow for either a right or left arm donation;
• Reduce overall maintenance costs by replacing an aging vehicle with a new one that will cost less than half of the current cost to maintain; and
• Provide a more pleasant donor experience. The new vehicle offers an updated interior design with more efficient climate control and a more open floor plan.
The Red Cross is the largest provider of lifesaving blood for patients in need in Oregon. Last year, the Pacific Northwest Blood Region collected more than 25,000 pints of blood from donors in Klamath, Lake, Deschutes and Jackson Counties. These donations help meet the transfusion needs of patients at more than 60 Pacific Northwest hospitals, including Sky Lakes Medical Center; Lake District Hospital, Lakeview; St. Charles Hospital, Bend; Ashland Community Hospital, Ashland; and Rogue Regional Medical Center, Medford.