Born in a Time of Need
The establishment of an open-heart surgery program in Lincoln meant physicians with the Lancaster County Medical Society needed a reliable source of blood for hospital patients. The Society responded by forming what is now known as Nebraska Community Blood Bank in 1968 to meet the need for a safe and stable supply of blood. Over the next five decades, we expanded our capabilities and outreach to fulfill our mission of helping to save and sustain lives through blood donation and to benefit the communities we serve.
MILESTONES OF GROWTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
- Community Blood Bank of the Lancaster County Medical Society (CBB) begins operating its first collection site, providing blood to all Lincoln hospitals. The staff include two nurses, two medical technologists, one registrar, and volunteer nurses who perform the pre-donation physical. Hospital patients receive the entire donation of blood.
- CBB expands into Seward County, hosting its first community blood drive. It begins to serve Memorial Healthcare Systems—a current customer today.
- Component transfusion begins—splitting whole blood donation into red cells, plasma and platelets. Patients receive only the blood component(s) they need. CBB begins collecting platelets through an apheresis process.
- CBB acquires its first bloodmobile. This allows CBB to reach more blood donors in the community and expand partnerships.
- CBB is among the first blood center in the nation to provide hospital customers with leukocyte-reduced blood products which reduce transfusion reactions and provide a better patient experience.
- New donor centers open on Pine Lake Road and on 84th Street.
- The Hometown Heroes program launches, awarding funds to community partners that sponsor summer blood drives.
- The High School Scholarship program begins, providing leadership skills and scholarship dollars to area students.
- CBB deploys a third bloodmobile, increasing the number of blood drives to an average of 6 per week.
- CBB Advisory Board forms.
- Community Blood Bank begins operating as Nebraska Community Blood Bank.
- NCBB and partner blood bank Memorial Blood Centers form a new blood services organization, Innovative Blood Resources (IBR).
- NCBB begins providing specialized blood products to Nebraska Medicine’s main campus in Omaha.
- NCBB expands its reach to Omaha and breaks ground on new donor and distribution center to better serve local hospitals.
Today, NCBB collects more than a thousand units of blood each week from local volunteer blood donors, and provides blood products and services to more than a dozen medical facilities throughout eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.
Learn more about the history of Nebraska Community Blood Bank by viewing our collection at History Nebraska