FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood’s new Blood Donor Center was officially opened July 8 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
According to Cindy Wise, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency transition manager, construction on the new, 17,000-square-foot center, located in Bldg. 759, began Sept. 1, 2019. Donors and staff here are now treated to amenities such as bedside televisions, multiple televisions in the donor area for entertainment while donating and a state-of-the-art blood processing lab.
“We’re very proud of our new facility because it will allow us to increase collections,” said Maj. Manuela Bauldry, Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center officer in charge. “The blood program’s strength is with the donors who voluntarily donate, come rain or shine, holidays or weekends. Dedicating a modernized facility equipped with skilled staff to connect donors, blood products and recipients is a recipe for increased survivability.”
The new donor center had its soft opening on June 8 with trainees assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment donating the first 55 units.
The Bravo Company trainees seemed to like the new facility, but said the reasons for donating remain the same.
“It’s really nice with a tall ceiling,” said Pvt. Rowan Nicholson. “(When it comes to donating blood), people need to stop over thinking it. You’ve got something inside you that your body can reproduce and giving one unit of it can save a life.”
Fellow Bravo Company trainee Pvt. Alexis Kidchob echoed Nicholson’s sentiments.
“The new facility is a lot nicer, more organized and very comfy,” she said while donating.
Kidchob recalled that her mother needed blood once and was thankful donors were there for her and now wants to pass that compassion on to others.
“Just do it,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt and it can save lives.”
Other than being in a different location, everything about donating blood at the new Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center remains the same. Sundays through Tuesdays are collection days for unit-level blood drives, and 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays are reserved for appointments and walk-in donors.
The Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center collects blood for the Armed Services Blood Program, the official blood collection and transfusion agency for the Department of Defense. Collected blood goes directly to medical facilities in contingency areas as well as military hospitals on installations throughout the Department of Defense.
The military healthcare system requires about 400 units of blood every day. It's the ASBP’s mission to make sure that blood is available to medical providers, but that can’t be done without strong support from volunteer donors, Bauldry said.
“We look forward to having everyone come donate with us at our new facility,” she said. “It’s a life-changing experience for many who are on the receiving end of your donations. So, if you have your health, celebrate it by giving blood to those who are not as fortunate.”
To get to the new Fort Leonard Wood Blood Donor Center from the main gate, follow Missouri Avenue to North Dakota Avenue and merge right at the electronic marquee just past General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital. Turn left on Iowa Avenue and then make a right on West 11th Street. The new donor center is at the end of that street, across from Cunningham Gym. On-site parking is available.
For more information, call 573.596.5385 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.