The H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation presented a $25,000 grant to LifeStream Blood Bank, which is determined to close the gap on the annual 4,000 pint shortfall of blood donations in the Coachella Valley. As the exclusive blood bank for all valley hospitals, LifeStream aims to reach its blood collection goal this year with the opening of a second valley location in Rancho Mirage. The Coachella Valley Spotlight grant will further outfit the blood collection site, which opened in October 2019.
“The new blood bank facility is very welcoming and in a central location, which should make donating blood even easier for Coachella Valley residents,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
Founded in 1951 as the Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties by the medical societies of the two Counties, LifeStream Blood Bank delivers approximately 120,000 pints of blood annually to more than 80 Southern California hospitals, including 20,000 pints to all Coachella Valley-based hospitals. The organization collects, separates and coordinates testing, stores and delivers blood components given by volunteer donors to local hospitals to assist surgical, transplant and cancer patients; accident, burn and trauma victims; and newborn babies.
“LifeStream’s mission is to help save lives by connecting donors and patients through the gift of blood,” said Dr. Rick Axelrod, President of LifeStream. “Blood transfusions directly benefit tens of thousands of patients annually and give comfort to their loved ones.”
Grant funds will purchase donor beds, medical equipment, blood testing supplies, automated blood collection machines, computers and printers for the new Rancho Mirage facility. LifeStream’s La Quinta facility has been in operation since 2008. LifeStream also holds about 200 mobile blood drives at various locations throughout the Coachella Valley each year.
“Donating blood is something many people can do, and now LifeStream is making it more convenient,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2. “There is an inherent need in our area, and giving about an hour of time to donate blood can help save a life.”
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, LifeStream Blood Bank was featured on News Channel 3 programming including “Eye on the Desert” (which airs on CBS Local 2 weeknights at 6:30 p.m.), in public service announcements and on kesq.com. LifeStream has two donation centers in the Coachella Valley: 42390 Bob Hope Drive, Suite 1B Rancho Mirage and 79-215 Corporate Centre Dr., La Quinta. Hours of operation vary at each site. For more information about LifeStream and donating blood, go to lstream.org or call 1-800-879-4484.