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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Contact: Kara LeBlanc, kleblanc@ribc.org, 401.787.8686

CONNECTICUT BLOOD CENTER OPENS ITS FIRST DONOR CENTER
AND BLOOD PRODUCT DISTRIBUTION DEPOT IN MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT

Connecticut Blood Center is part of a family of nonprofit community blood centers that provides 50,000 blood products annually to over a dozen hospitals throughout Connecticut.

Middletown, CT — Connecticut Blood Center is pleased to open its first blood donation center and blood product distribution depot in Middletown, Connecticut. The operation encourages the community to provide much-needed blood donations to patients being cared for in over a dozen Connecticut hospitals, while storing blood products closer to those hospitals for urgent orders.

Since the start of the pandemic, blood centers across the country have experienced persistent blood shortages. At the same time, hospital blood utilization has returned to pre-pandemic levels and, in many cases, has exceeded it. Beau Tompkins, Senior Executive Director of CTBC, says, “There is no substitute for blood. The dangerously unstable blood supply is a solvable problem, but only if our communities come together to roll up their sleeves and become regular blood donors. We are thrilled to provide that opportunity in Connecticut and believe the people of Connecticut will rise to the challenge of helping stabilize the local blood supply.”

Keeping the blood supply going for hospitals is a cooperative endeavor among volunteer blood donors and nonprofit community blood centers. Blood is needed to help patients with cancer, trauma victims, mothers and newborns experiencing complications during childbirth, people suffering from rare blood disorders and other chronic illnesses, or individuals who need surgery and organ transplants.

Bradford Jay Sherburne, MD, Medical Director of Transfusion Services and Clinical Laboratory for Hartford Hospital, says, “I'm thrilled that Connecticut Blood Center finally has its own donation center to help support our patients. In the wake of the pandemic, after postponing routine care, more patients than ever are requiring transfusions, but donations have not rebounded. We cannot blame a nationwide blood shortage on crowded shipping lanes or a backup of unloaded containers. The precious blood donors needed to solve this crisis are right in our backyard, and I hope the new center inspires them to give blood – an irreplaceable resource that can only come from one human being to another." Dr. Sherburne, along with many of his colleagues at Hartford HealthCare, has already donated blood with CTBC.

CTBC is operated by Rhode Island Blood Center, a division of New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe). CTBC is part of NYBCe’s family of nonprofit community blood centers, all working toward the same goal: to ensure a safe and plentiful blood supply to the hospitals and patients they serve. Providing 50,000 blood products annually, NYBCe is the primary supplier of blood products, including red cells, platelets, and plasma, to over a dozen Connecticut Hospitals, including those belonging to Hartford HealthCare, one of the largest Connecticut healthcare systems. CTBC is also part of the National Marrow Donor Program, registering individuals throughout New England to become lifesaving stem cell donors for patients who need a transplant to survive.

The central location of the new product distribution depot is key to providing superior service to Connecticut hospitals. While hospitals estimate their blood needs and standing orders based on historical usage, closer proximity to those hospitals for unanticipated emergencies is more efficient in filling urgent and unexpected orders without delay. “Elective surgeries can be scheduled, but people do not set appointments for accidents or complications during labor. We receive urgent orders for those daily,” explains Tompkins. The hospital services depot at CTBC is staffed 24/7 and operates 365 days a year.

Connecticut Blood Center promises to provide donors the professional care and service NYBCe is known for, offering convenience and comfort in the 5,000+ sq. ft. center. The center is located in the Middletown Plaza at 856 Washington Street, Middletown, CT, 06457. To book an appointment, visit ctblood.org, or call 800.283.8385. The center is open from 11:30 am - 8:00 pm every Wednesday, 11:00 am - 7:30 pm every Thursday, and 7:00 am - 3:30 pm every Friday and every other weekend (Saturday and Sunday) from 7:00 am to 3:30 pm. You can visit ctblood.org/hours for upcoming weekend dates. Appointments are encouraged, but donors are also welcome to walk in to donate. As a thank you, all presenting donors will receive a $10 gift card to Athenian Diner II, also located in the Middletown Plaza, while supplies last.

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CONNECTICUT BLOOD CENTER (CTBC) supplies blood and blood products to patients being cared for in over a dozen Connecticut hospitals. CTBC operates a hospital services blood storage depot from our Connecticut center so we can quickly and reliably get urgent or unexpected orders to local hospitals. CTBC is operated by the Rhode Island Blood Center, a part of the New York Blood Center Enterprises family with more than five decades of experience saving lives by ensuring a safe and plentiful blood supply to the patients and hospitals we serve. CTBC is also part of the National Marrow Donor Program, registering individuals throughout New England to become lifesaving stem cell donors for patients who need a transplant to survive.

NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER ENTERPRISES/NEW YORK BLOOD CENTER
About New York Blood Center Enterprises

Founded in 1964, New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) is one of the largest nonprofit, independent, community blood centers in the world. Along with partner organizations Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), Community Blood Center of Kansas City (CBC), Connecticut Blood Center (CTBC), Memorial Blood Centers (MBC), Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC), we collect approximately 4,000 units of blood products each day and serve communities approaching 50 million people in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT), mid-Atlantic area (PA, DE, MD), Kansas City metropolitan area, Minnesota, Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Southern New England. NYBCe delivers lifesaving blood products and services as well as clinical, medical, pharmaceutical, testing, and consultative services to over 600 hospitals and dozens of research organizations, academic institutions, and biomedical companies. Among other milestones, our Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute pioneered the Hepatitis B vaccine and patented a solvent detergent plasma process, innovating blood-purification technology worldwide.

RHODE ISLAND BLOOD CENTER (RIBC) was founded in 1979 as a nonprofit community blood center. For over 35 years, RIBC has been the primary supplier of blood and blood products to patients being cared for in hospitals throughout Rhode Island and in neighboring states. Our mission is to help save lives by ensuring a safe and plentiful blood supply to the patients and hospitals we serve. RIBC is also part of the National Marrow Donor Program and collects stem cells for transplant at its Providence location. RIBC provides therapeutic treatments for patients in local hospitals. Our state-of-the-art laboratory performs donor testing for over 400,000 donations per year. RIBC is also involved in various local and national research programs to improve all aspects of the blood supply. RIBC is a division of New York Blood Center, Inc. (a family of operating Divisions known as New York Blood Center Enterprises). For more information, visit ribc.org.