Kentucky Blood Center celebrates 55 year anniversary

KBC is celebrating a major milestone.
KBC is celebrating a major milestone.(Source: WKYT)
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 11:53 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Blood Center is celebrating a major milestone.

Their life-saving work has been shown across the commonwealth for nearly six decades.

In 1968, you could find the Kentucky Blood Center in the basement of the Pancake House on South Limestone.

In 2023, you can find KBC in one of their 8 facilities across six counties.

55 years later and they’ve built the organization from the ground up.

They went from serving just six Lexington hospitals, to providing supplies to more than 70.

“It’s kind of a neat look back for us,” said Eric Lindsey, Kentucky Blood Center. “Also a reminder for us, it comes at the time where the pandemic is ending but we hope it’s a reminder to folks that the need for blood never stops. It’s bigger than ever really. We hope this motivates people to come out later this week or summer.”

At the height of the pandemic, the Kentucky Blood Center struggled with donations.

“Whether you stopped coming for health and safety reasons, whether you just got out of the habit, or we couldn’t come to your business or school,” he said. “Whatever it is, we hope folks get back into that habit or try it for the first time because blood is an everyday constant need.”

Over the years, the center has seen numerous advancements.

Just this month, the FDA changed the restrictions on blood donations -- now, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or sex -- donors will have to answer the same questionnaire about their sexual history.

This means that men who have sex with men could donate blood in the future, once these health questions and changes are made.

Covering almost all of central and parts of eastern and western Kentucky, the Kentucky Blood Center is making an impact across the commonwealth.

“We want to continue that forward,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re meeting our hospital needs. That we are continuing to provide them the blood they need to save local lives, and we hope to continue forward, and be a fabric of this state.”

To learn more you can visit their website.