The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) hosted a ribbon cutting today to celebrate the opening of its new 8,700-square-foot donor center located at 418 N. Longwood Street in Rockford, across the parking lot from its former 6th Street location.
The new donor center offers a warm, inviting environment with a donor-friendly layout and provides an easier registration process to enhance donor experience. In addition, private donor spaces have been added to accommodate patient therapies. The former donor center located at 419 North 6th Street will be home to the RRVBC lab, storage, and administration offices.
The Longwood Street donor center is officially open to the public and is open Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This location is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be opening our new donor center in the same neighborhood we have been in since the 1960s,” said Lisa Entrikin, CEO of the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “We feel a huge sense of community here and wanted to continue to be a convenient place for our dedicated donor base to visit. We were excited to recognize some of our top donors today by inviting them to be among the first to donate at the new facility.”
The organization purchased the Longwood Street building from the City of Rockford in 2011 and had been utilizing it for storage. A nearly 1,400-square-foot addition was added to the building to create the layout and size needed to enhance donor experience for the Blood Center’s dedicated donors and additional donors it will attract to meet the region’s ongoing blood donation needs. The blood center used all local contractors for the construction.
RRVBC, which is approaching its 70th year in the community, is the only provider of blood to13 hospitals in the region which requires 800 donors per week to meet the demand.
“We are proud to be a part of this community as the only local supplier of blood and blood products,” Entrikin continued. “We invite everyone to celebrate with us all year long and schedule a donation to honor the opening of this amazing facility and most importantly, save up to three lives.”
Donating blood is simple. After registering, a donor care specialist will take individual’s vitals (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and hemoglobin), and each person must complete an eligibility questionnaire before they can sit back and relax while giving. The donation itself only lasts about 10 minutes. Refreshments await after donating.
First-time donors should bring a photo ID. Individuals can donate a single unit (whole blood donation, the most common type) every 56 days. Students can donate once they turn 16 years of age and must have a signed parental consent.
To schedule a donation, visit rrvbc.org, call 815-965-8751 or use the myRRVBC app.