At a time when people in the Upstate are practicing social distancing, The Blood Connection and AnMed Health have never been closer.
As the exclusive provider of blood products to Upstate hospitals, The Blood Connection has partnered with AnMed Health since December 2018. In the midst of a global pandemic, that partnership has grown even stronger.
“There is a solid partnership between The Blood Connection and the hospitals that we serve,” says Allie Van Dyke, media coordinator for The Blood Connection. “We supply blood to all of the Upstate’s hospitals, so when people donate, it affects the Upstate directly.”
To keep up with the need, The Blood Connection needs about 700 donations each day, relying on the generosity of local citizens to donate and host blood drives.
On Sept. 4, AnMed Health furthered its partnership with The Blood Connection by hosting a blood drive at the Anderson Civic Center that saw over 100 donors give lifesaving blood that will be used right here in the Upstate.
“So many people rely on blood products every day,” Van Dyke says. “We wanted the community to be a part of our partnership with AnMed, and they responded.”
Donors were provided with a $20 gift card and a free COVID-19 antibody test with their donation as a thank you. Penny Tisdale, laboratory director at AnMed Health, says hosting the drive with The Blood Connection was an easy decision. “We appreciate The Blood Connection hosting blood drives in our community to keep our inventory plentiful,” says Tisdale. “We like to support local vendors when they can provide the services that we need.”
Tisdale says the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the hospital’s need for convalescent plasma — the plasma from patients who have previously had the virus and developed antibodies. She says, “The Blood Connection has done a great job responding to those evolving needs. Even during the research stages, they have educated and engaged donors and patients.”
HOSTING A BLOOD DRIVE
With their strong partnership, it made perfect sense for AnMed Health to host a drive, but The Blood Connection is always looking for organizations and locations to host blood drives. By visiting The Blood Connection’s website and clicking “Host a Blood Drive,” citizens and businesses of the Upstate can help host a lifesaving event at no cost. Donors can also give blood at one of the permanent locations. The Blood Connection has locations in Greenville, Spartanburg, Greenwood, Seneca and Easley in South Carolina and two more in western North Carolina — Hendersonville and Asheville.
In a time of uncertainty, it should be a comfort to the Upstate to know that The Blood Connection is keeping up with the demand for lifesaving blood products in local hospitals. Penny Tisdale says the generosity of the Upstate and these strong partnerships are keeping people healthy and saving lives. “We feel like The Blood Connection is working for our community and our patients,” she says.