60 years of saving lives. And that may end if you don’t help. We’re talking about, Houchin Community Blood Bank in Bakersfield, California. We proudly support Houchin with Roger Yoder (Sales Manager) at our Bakersfield branch!
So, why do you think blood banks such as Houchin, face the threat of extinction?
They, like most blood banks, face this threat because it’s tough to get donors. And without blood donations, lives are in critical danger.
In this article, I want to introduce you to the President and CEO of HCBB, Greg Gallion. You’ll learn the history, the challanges and how you can effect the future of Houchin.
Q: So why do you think blood banks such as Houchin, face the threat of extinction?
A: There are a multitude of financial pressures. Hospital reimbursements are on the decline and there has been a decline in donors. There has been a decline in usage due to less invasive surgeries and changes in hospital protocols. All are indicative of less demand for the blood supply, however, there is an increased need for platelets.
Q: Tell me a little about Houchin Blood Bank’s history.
A: Houchin Community Blood Bank had its beginning in the 1940’s. The Kern County Medical Society recognized the need for a blood bank in Bakersfield. In 1951 they approached a prominent member, C. Elmer Houchin, regarding a commitment for a site to locate the blood bank. Through the generosity of the Houchin Foundation, and in memory of Mr. Houchin’s mother, Sarah Houchin, the land on G Street was donated and the blood bank opened its doors on April 2, 1951. This provided an opportunity to provide blood to the local hospitals without being dependent on Los Angeles and San Francisco to get blood products to Kern County.
Q. How has blood banking changed in your years at Houchin?
A: One of the biggest changes has been in the sophistication of the testing of blood products. Also, with advancements in technology, the equipment has increased in sophistication. Learn more about our blood testing here NAT Tested
Q: What are the biggest challenges for Houchin today?
A: Mainly, getting enough donors to meet the demands of, not only our community, but across the country. Keeping pace with rising costs such as the cost of testing, employee costs, operating costs, and extreme pressure from the hospitals to lower prices.
Q; What do you see for the future of Houchin?
A: I see a long bright future, as long as we continue to adapt to the changes. Fortunately, we are in a position to alter and change our business model to adopt new and changing technology with which to meet demands.
If you are able to donate, consider giving a little of your time to potentially help save a life. Below is how you can help Houchin Community Blood Bank of Bakersfield. Call Toll Free at 1-877-364-5844
TRUXTUN DONOR CENTER
5901 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93309
BOLTHOUSE DONOR CENTER
11515 Bolthouse Drive
Bakersfield, CA 93311