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Recently, many Washington County residents have contacted Vitalant, formerly Central Blood Bank, inquiring if we have stopped operating in Washington County. The answer: a resounding no.

Vitalant is committed to providing safe, comfortable and convenient opportunities for Washington County residents to give back to the community by donating blood. While we did move from our former donation center at 95 W. Beau Street, we are now welcoming blood donors at two new locations: The Vitalant Bloodmobile is at the Wilfred R. Cameron Wellness Center, 240 Wellness Way, Washington, every second and fourth Wednesday from 1 to 6:30 p.m. There is a Vitalant recurring blood drive every first and third Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Washington Hospital Community Room, 155 Wilson Ave., Washington.

Our donor care team looks forward to welcoming our longtime donors, as well as new donors, to these locations.

Blood donors are needed more than ever. Western Pennsylvania is facing a potential public health crisis due to a 50% decline in blood donations over the past decade. If this decline continues, area hospitals could be forced to postpone or even cancel elective surgeries.

In an effort to raise awareness about this alarming situation, the Highmark Foundation and UPMC have funded a campaign to promote the need for blood. This campaign will allow Vitalant to reach a wide audience, and invite them to become blood donors, blood program sponsors, or blood donation ambassadors.

We encourage O-R readers to make an appointment to donate blood at our new Washington County locations, by calling 412-209-7000 or visiting vitalant.org. On behalf of patients in hospitals we serve, including Washington Hospital, Vitalant is deeply grateful to those who save lives by donating blood on a regular basis, and future donors who may be moved to join us.

Charles Wilcox

Vitalant, Pittsburgh