Mobile Blood Collection Program

As is his custom every three months, Stephen A. Geller, M.D., rolled up his sleeve on December 21 to donate blood at Cedars-Sinai. But instead of going to the Blood Donor Center, Dr. Geller was stretched out in the Harvey Morse Auditorium on a new reclining chair as Blood Services launched its mobile community blood collection program and unveiled its new equipment.

The mobile program features a 24-foot equipment truck with nine full-length chairs and five private screening booths that can be set up at any location to accommodate up to 120 donors. According to Louise Smith, manager, Division of Transfusion Medicine, future plans also call for a large, self-contained mobile unit to be purchased.

"The equipment is great, and I'm glad to see the program going mobile," said Geller, who is Chairman Emeritus of the Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. "I've been giving blood since college, and I urge my colleagues to do the same."

The VIP blood donor event was held to announce the mobile program and acknowledge staff members who regularly donate blood at the medical center.

The launch of the mobile program coincides with National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, observed each January.

The first mobile blood drive is scheduled for January 17, when the equipment will be set up at the 6500 Wilshire Building -- home to several hundred Cedars-Sinai employees.

Among those attending the December 21 event were Daniel Fink, M.D., Mark Gavens, Senior Vice President of Clinical Care Services and COO, and Rick Jacobs, Senior Vice President of System Development. Both Gavens and Jacobs donated blood, while Dr. Fink was sidelined due to a recent trip from outside the country.

"Blood usage continues to increase at Cedars-Sinai. This past year, we transfused in excess of 50,000 blood components," said Ellen B. Klapper, M.D., co-director of Transfusion Medicine. "The importance of increasing our blood collection capabilities cannot be over-emphasized. We are thrilled about the mobile program because it will make blood donation an easier and more efficient process for donors and allow us to set up blood drives anywhere in the community."

For more information on donating blood at Cedars-Sinai, please call John Barr at (310) 423-2637. To refer and/or organize a blood drive, please contact Dave Keys at (310) 423-4260.