Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for blood donors and a viable source of blood supply has remained paramount. While COVID-19 altered many facets of day-to-day life, hospitals like OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group remained open and operational, dedicated to providing lifesaving care to patients. Yet, with fewer businesses operating in traditional capacities and more people following stay-at-home orders to support COVID-19 preventative measures, fewer blood drives and donations have occurred.
In an effort to further support a dependable blood supply, OSF St. Francis is proud to partner with Guardian Flight & AirMedCare Network, located on the hospital’s campus, to host a series of blood drives in 2021 in partnership with The Community Blood Center (CBC) of Appleton, Wis.; CBC and OSF St. Francis entered into a partnership in March 2019 with CBC becoming the sole provider of blood, platelets and plasma for OSF St. Francis Hospital.
“We recognize the importance of a consistent blood supply and are very pleased to support OSF St. Francis Hospital by hosting these upcoming blood drives,” stated Carrie Bartel-Petrin, Membership Manager for AirMedCare Network. She added, “Partnering in this with way with OSF St. Francis Hospital and their Mission Partners is another way we support the communities our Guardian Flight aircraft and crews serve. These blood drives also allow Mission Partners and members of our community to get a behind-the-scenes peek at our Escanaba Helicopter operation while they donate blood.”
The first of six blood drives scheduled in 2021 will take place on Thursday, January 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Guardian Flight Hangar located on the OSF St. Francis Hospital campus. Due to COVID-19 protocols appointments are required and can be made by calling Carrie Bartel-Petrin at (906) 241-3855 or via email at Carrie.Bartel-Petrin@gmr.net.
There is no substituted for the blood transfused to a patient, it has to come from a volunteer donor" said Kristine Belanger, Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Office, The Community Blood Center. "We are honored to work with the Escanaba community to ensure a reliable blood supply is available for hospitals and patients, including those patients right here at OSF St. Francis Hospital."
“The need for blood donors and a viable source of blood supply is ever present. We appreciate our partnerships with Guardian Flight and CBC that will continue to provide our patients with one of the most essential needs in health care,” said Dave Lord, President of OSF St. Francis Hospital.