Penn Highlands Healthcare Partners with Community Blood Bank

Jennifer Brownlee of Community Blood Bank, left and Julie Decker of Penn Highlands Clearfield, right tour the blood storage area and laboratory at Penn Highlands Clearfield. On July 1, Penn Highlands Healthcare partnered with CBB to provide blood and blood products to all Penn Highlands hospitals. (Photo by Kimberly Finnigan)

 

CLEARFIELD – A new partnership will ensure that local blood donations will go to local patients.

As of July 1, Penn Highlands has partnered exclusively with Community Blood Bank of Erie to provide blood and blood products to all Penn Highlands hospital locations.

According to Julie Decker, laboratory director at Penn Highlands Clearfield, the hospital keeps blood on location for cancer patients, outpatient transfusions, births and other medical needs.

“We’re very excited about what this new partnership can offer our patients and our community,” Decker said.

She said one of the benefits of partnering with Community Blood Bank is that it’s a Pennsylvania company.

She said the hospital has previously worked with national organizations. Decker said the switch has made it possible to obtain certain products more easily.

According to its Web site, Community Blood Bank is an independent, non-profit blood center that has been providing critical blood products to area hospitals since 1966.

Community Blood bank was established by Hamot Medical Center, St. Vincent Health Center, Metro Health Center and Millcreek Community Hospital in Erie.

According to its Web site, CBB, one out of every three people will need blood in their lifetime. There is a constant need for blood, due to natural disasters, emergencies and routine medical procedures.

“One of our main focuses is on exceptional customer service,” Jennifer Brownlee, Community Blood Bank’s community relations specialist, said.

“We have local donors helping local patients. When donors give blood, it will be used for patients both locally and here in Pennsylvania.

Decker added that the transition has gone very smoothly, and patients will see no disruption in services.

Decker also stressed the importance for community members to participate in blood drives. She said the hospital holds blood drives twice a month at 440 Front Pl., next to Subway in Clearfield. The hospital is also looking for organizations to host blood drives.

Brownlee said that one whole blood donation can save up to three people. Blood donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be 17 years of age, or 16 with a signed parental consent form, have a photo ID and a 12-month deferral from a tattoo or piercing establishment, if the donor has had recent tattoos or piercings.

More information about hosting a blood drive can be found at www.fourhearts.org or by calling 814-456-4206.

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