Giving blood just got easier in Bethlehem
BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Giving blood in the Lehigh Valley just got a little more accessible.
Miller-Keystone Blood Center has opened a new donation collection location on Webster Street in Southside Bethlehem.
The satellite office is on the grounds of BSI Corporate Benefits located at 205 Webster St., Bethlehem, and will be open once a month to collect blood from the community.
"The United States is in the midst of the most critical national blood shortage in history."Miller-Keystone Blood Center
Only 3% of the nation's population contributes to the cause, so adding additional locations is an effort to increase that number, according to Miller-Keystone.
“The United States is in the midst of the most critical national blood shortage in history, and regional blood supplies have been below preferred inventory levels for more than two years,” according to a news release.
Blood collection very much needed
The opening comes just a week after Lehigh Valley Health Network announced that Miller-Keystone Blood Center will no longer be its primary blood supplier come the new fiscal year.
It will use the American red Cross as its first choice, then Miller-Keystone as its secondary source.
It’s a financial blow to the center, which already is managing amid an historic blood shortage, Miller-Keystone Chief Executive Officer Peter Castagna said as he spoke about the move.
"We're getting requests from hospitals to set up supplemental arrangements. Quite frankly, we've held off on those because our focus is on serving the local hospitals and all the needs that they have."Miller-Keystone Chief Executive Officer Peter Castagna
However, Castagna said he is confident the blood collected at Miller-Keystone's centers across the Lehigh Valley is very much needed.
"We're getting requests from hospitals to set up supplemental arrangements,” he said. “Quite frankly, we've held off on those because our focus is on serving the local hospitals and all the needs that they have."
The new BSI location is being opened in an effort to pull in more donations, according to Miller-Keystone.
People can donate blood from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Friday of each month.