SCBB Celebrates Anniversary
Valentine’s Day Marks 65 Years of Serving the Community
On February 14, 1949 the Lower West Coast Blood Bank, founded by O.K. Fike and Dr. Millard White, opened its doors. Now known as SunCoast Blood Bank (SCBB), although the name has changed, the guiding principles of remaining an independent non-profit, local health-care provider, governed by a local board and local management has remained intact. For 65 years, tens of thousands of dedicated volunteers have provided the critical, life-saving gift of blood and platelets to our local hospitals and patients. In 1949, the blood bank collected 551 pints of blood, now called “units.” Today, SCBB must collect almost 47,000 units of blood and platelets to meet the needs of local patients. SCBB operates five donor centers, and more than 1,300 blood drives are held annually in our community. The success of the organization rests completely on the generosity of volunteer donors.
“While we consider what we do in the community to be a privilege, it is also a huge responsibility. We must have the right blood products at the right time to treat critically ill and injured patients,” said Jayne Giroux, director of communications for SCBB. Giroux estimates that more than 35 percent of the blood products collected is used for the treatment of cancer patients. “Only 4 percent of the population provides 100 percent of the blood products needed in our country,” said Giroux.