Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) welcomed newly eligible LGBTQIA+ donors on Monday, October 2nd. It comes after the FDA issued final guidance establishing a blood donor screening process based on individual donor assessment, not sexual orientation or gender identity.

Dr. Philip Chan and RIBC's Beau Tompkins.

To help raise awareness around this important step in making blood donation more inclusive, Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Consultant Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer for Open Door Health Dr. Philip Chan donated blood and held a media availability on Wednesday, October 4th.

Dr. Chan became a household name during the Covid-19 pandemic, often appearing at then Governor Gina Raimondo’s daily press conferences.

“This change in blood donation guidelines at the federal level represents an important step toward a blood donation process that treats all potential donors, and specifically gay and bisexual men, with equality and respect,” said Philip Chan, MD, MS, Consultant Medical Director for the Rhode Island Department of Health, and Chief Medical Officer for Open Door Health. “Giving blood is one of the best ways for you to give back and potentially save the life of someone in your community. I encourage everyone who is newly eligible to donate to reach out to the Rhode Island Blood Center to make an appointment today!”

This proved to be a huge media opportunity for RIBC and was also Dr. Chan’s first time donating with RIBC. He pledged he will be back! He also took some time to connect with RIBC’s Vice President Beau Tompkins to discuss possible future partnerships. See one of the stories on Dr. Chan’s donation.