Economics blamed for blood center closing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Economics blamed for blood center closing

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The American Red Cross will close its blood donation center in Albany at the end of the year.

Red Cross officials say the closure will not affect the availability of blood to South Georgia hospitals. Blood drives will also continue in our area.

That donation center has been on Dawson Road for 17 years and is one of the older blood donation operations in South Georgia. But Red Cross leaders say the bad economy forced them to make hard business decisions.

The Albany Blood Donation Center will shut down December 31st. It will remain open during its normal hours until then. American Red Cross officials say in the bad economy, they have to control costs.

"Like a lot of businesses and non profit organizations the Red Cross has to continue to review our operations and see what is most cost effective. In this case the decision was made to close the donor center," said Program Manager for Communications April Phillips.

The Red Cross says donations at the Albany center are down, but no more than the rest of the nation.

"Donations in general across the board at fixed sites and donation centers have been down about twenty percent. It's not strictly here in Georgia, it's something that many blood banks across the nation are experiencing," Phillips said.

When the Albany center is closed, Red Cross officials say they hope steady donors will continue to give blood at drive operations.

"We have blood drives on an almost weekly basis. Sometimes several times a week, right here in Albany. So we think there will be plenty of opportunities for those interests in continuing to save lives to do so," Phillips said.

The Red Cross says there is a critical blood shortage in the Southern Blood Services Region, which serves 120 hospitals, including Albany, Tifton, and Valdosta. So they continue to ask people in the Albany area to give, even though the donor center will close at the end of the year.

The five employees at the Albany donor center will be offered other jobs with Red Cross. The closure will not affect the Red Cross Disaster Service Center downtown.

The Albany Blood center will be closed next week for staff training, but it will reopen August 15th.

 

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