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Springs blood center closes as industry consolidates

Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 17, 2018

COLORADO SPRINGS – Penrose Saint Francis Health Services is closing its blood donation center later this month. The healthcare provider is opting to contract that service with the specialists at Vitalant for efficiency sake.

Vitalant used to be called Bonfils and they changed their name earlier this year after a merger with Arizona based Blood Systems, Inc.

Spokesperson Liz Lambert said the company’s laboratory and blood bank on Yosemite Street in Denver is the logistical heart of their statewide supply network.

“Vitalant collects blood all across Colorado and brings it back to our Denver-Lowry location to process and then distribute to hospitals,” Lambert said.

Vitalant supplies blood and blood products to around 1,000 hospitals in 40 states. In Colorado, their hospital network consists of around 100 facilities.

Andrea Sinclair, Communications manager for Penrose-St. Francis said in a statement that the size and ability of Vitalant make them an attractive business partner.

“After careful consideration, it became clear that closing our center and allowing the specialists in the blood banking and transfusion medicine industry to perform this function was the best way to serve our donors and our patients,” Sinclair said.

Lambert said that hospital patients should see no change in service as a result of the switchover.

“We’re carefully managing the blood supply to ensure that we’re meeting the needs where and when they arise,” Lambert said.

The blood donor center at Penrose Hospital will stop taking blood donations on December 19 and platelet donations on December 24. The health network encourages donors to continue their commitment to saving lives through blood donations.

Vitalant operates a donation facility in the Marketplace at Austin Bluffs shopping center, 3670 Austin Bluffs Pkwy #110.