Press Release from Sioux Falls Community Blood Bank.
This is the second bloodmobile the Community Blood Bank has donated to the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. The first bloodmobile donation took place in 2008. The blood bank operates two bloodmobiles in a 150-mile radius of Sioux Falls, both of which are on the road for five to seven days a week, depending on the need for blood. “Nearly 80 percent of our blood supply comes from mobile operations,” said Ken Versteeg, Executive Director of the Community Blood Bank. The blood bank also has donation centers at both Sanford and Avera.
The donation of this 2002 bloodmobile was made possible when the blood bank recently procured a new bloodmobile vehicle.
Tom Walsh, owner of local Burger King restaurants, is founder of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation which provides medical treatment for children of the Los Cabos area. “Through the genuine caring and exceptional generosity of our partners and supporting organizations, children’s lives have been saved and improved since we started the Foundation in 2002,” Walsh said.
The bloodmobile will be transported to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where access to medical care and supplies is limited. Thanks to numerous collaborators including Avera, the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation has established pediatric cardiac and oncology programs at La Paz. This bloodmobile will help ensure that the local blood bank is well supplied with blood, collected from donors at universities, schools and resorts. Due to the geography and transportation of the region, people cannot travel to give blood, and it’s difficult to bring blood in from other locations.
“This donation is another example of Sanford Health’s support of the important mission of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation,” said Monica Huber, Vice President for Sanford Health. “Similar to Sanford Health, the Los Cabos Foundation believes health care should be delivered as close to home as possible. There are tremendous health care deficiencies in the Baja region with half of the growing population made up of children, and local health care services are not growing to meet the need.”
“On Avera’s part, this donation honors the relationship we have had with the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation since 2002,” said Judy Blauwet, Senior Vice President of Hospital Operations at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. In the early days of the Foundation, Avera McKennan provided hospital care for children in Sioux Falls, before specialized programs in the Cabo area were available. The Casa de Carlitos Welcome Center at the Walsh Family Village on the Avera McKennan campus is named for the first Los Cabos child cared for at Avera Children’s Hospital.
“We continue to support the efforts of the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation to make specialized medical care available to children in Cabo, and we are pleased that our former bloodmobiles can be repurposed to serve the people of that region, especially in light of the recent hurricane damage suffered in that location,” Blauwet added.
To learn more about Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, visit www.loscaboschildren.org.
The Community Blood Bank, founded in 1976, serves 32 hospitals within a 150-mile radius of Sioux Falls. All donations collected through the Community Blood Bank benefit local patients. The bloodmobile program was founded in 1991.
Donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent found at cbblifeblood.org) weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating blood.