Founded in 1952 by the Medical Service Committee of the Winnebago County Medical Society, the Rock River Valley Blood Center was incorporated to meet the needs of an increase in the use of blood transfusions following advancements made in transfusion therapy during World War II.
Late in 1951, after gathering information and studying other established blood banks in the Midwest, the committee recommended to the Medical Society that a Community Blood Bank be established. Cooperation from the Rockford hospitals was obtained. Early in 1952 a committee was appointed to establish a community blood bank as soon as practical. The organizing committee had the following people: Dr. D. O. Holman (Chair), Dr. M. O. Alexander, Dr. J. H. Bendes, Dr. William Boswell, Dr. William K. Ford, Dr. L. S. Greenwood, Dr. M. J. Gullickson, Dr. J. S. Lundholm, Dr. A.R.K. Matthews, Dr. E. H. Quandt, Dr. Paul A. Van Pernis, and Dr. D. H. Wrork.
Dr. Van Pernis became chairman when Dr. Holman left Rockford.
The Board of Directors of Rock River Valley Blood Center was originally composed of nine Directors. Each of the Rockford hospitals has a non-physician representative from the individual hospital’s Board of Directors. The Winnebago County Medical Society appoints six physician directors representing specialties that utilize blood components and services. Operations began on December 2, 1952. The organization became incorporated in April 1953.