Founded in 1943, Vitalant is one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit transfusion medicine organizations. We comprise a network of about 120 community blood centers, each with its own rich history and legacy. Vitalant provides lifesaving blood and comprehensive transfusion medicine services for about 900 hospitals and their patients across the U.S.
Today, Vitalant is an internationally known and respected leader that continues to push the boundaries to advance the experience, practice and application of transfusion medicine.
World-renowned, Vitalant Research Institute is engaged in scientific studies ranging from blood donor epidemiology to cellular therapy to virus discovery. Vitalant is a partner in the operations of Creative Testing Solutions, the largest independent blood donor testing organization in the U.S. Several high volume laboratories spanning the country test 70 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
Vitalant brings together the rich legacies of regional blood centers throughout the nation. Together with communities across nearly 30 states, we are transforming lives coast-to-coast.
Now Vitalant, we have found that our histories are more alike than different and we are inspired to work together to create moments of awe.
Many community blood centers were formed at the height of WWII to support the troops fighting overseas and communities at home. The organizations that make up Vitalant share a heritage of creating moments of awe for those in need – no matter where they may be.
1941: Irwin Memorial Blood Bank founded in San Francisco
1943: Salt River Valley Blood Bank founded in Phoenix
1943: Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank founded in Denver
1945: Spokane Community Blood Bank founded
1948: Sacramento Medical Foundation founded
1948: LifeShare Community Blood Services founded in Northeast Ohio
1951: Central Blood Bank founded in Pittsburgh
1953: Community Blood Services founded in the New Jersey/New York region
1959: Scientific Services/Research department formed at Irwin Memorial Blood Bank
1963: Lifeblood founded in Memphis
1987: Blood Center of Northern Illinois and American Red Cross – Mid-America Region merge to form LifeSource in Chicagoland
As transfusion medicine grew as a discipline, blood banks transformed into blood centers to better reflect their expanded services.
1956: Spokane Community Blood Bank becomes Spokane and Inland Empire Blood Bank
1971: Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank becomes Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center (Bonfils Blood Center)
1992: Spokane and Inland Empire Blood Bank becomes Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC)
1997: Irwin Memorial Blood Bank and Peninsula Blood Bank merge to become Blood Centers of the Pacific
2002: Sacramento Medical Foundation becomes BloodSource
2004: Blood Centers of the Pacific research arm renamed Blood Systems Research Institute
2011: Blood Bank of the Redwoods and Blood Centers of the Pacific merge
2016: Blood Centers of the Pacific and BloodSource merge
To better serve their patients, hospitals began merging into large health care systems in the 90s and continue to consolidate today. To ensure life-transforming gifts from donors across the country continue to be available when and where they are needed most, blood centers followed the lead of hospitals by joining together.
2015: Community Blood Services joins Blood Systems
2016: Inland Northwest Blood Center (INBC) joins Blood Systems
2017: LifeSource, part of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine (ITxM), joins Blood Systems
2017: Blood Centers of the Pacific and BloodSource join Blood Systems
2017: Bonfils Blood Center joins Blood Systems
2018: Central Blood Bank joins Blood Systems