American Red Cross Selected as Blood Supplier for Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center

November 11, 2005

November 11, 2005 – On October 1, 2005, the VA Integrated Services Network (VISN 12) awarded a contract to the American Red Cross Blood Services to be its main supplier of blood and blood products. The VISN 12 system includes seven medical centers and 30 outpatient clinics, serving veterans in northwestern Indiana, northern Illinois, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

The Red Cross has existing partnerships to provide blood products to three of the medical centers: Iron Mountain VA Medical Center (Iron Mountain, Mich.), William S. Middleton Memorial VA Medical Center (Madison, Wis.) and Tomah VA Medical Center (Tomah, Wis.). With the new contract, the remainder of the system hospitals, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center (Milwaukee, Wis.), Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (Chicago, Ill.), Edward Hines Jr. Hospital (Hines, Ill.) and North Chicago VA Medical Center (North Chicago, Ill.), will also be supplied by the Red Cross.

Clement J. Zablocki Medical Center, an institution which provides health care to more than 54,000 veterans in eastern and central Wisconsin, is one of the busiest and most comprehensive centers operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Annually, the medical center admits nearly 6,000 patients and records more than 443,000 outpatient visits.

"We welcome the Zablocki VA Medical Center, as well as the entire VISN 12 system, to the Red Cross and look forward to working with them to ensure blood is available for local patients when they need it most," said Tony Procaccio, CEO of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region.

By request of the government, the Red Cross began its blood program in 1941 in anticipation of American's entry into World War II. From that time until the service ended in 1945, the Red Cross collected 13.4 million pints of blood from 6.6 million donors. During World War II, nearly every family in America contained a member who had either served as a Red Cross volunteer, made contributions of money or blood, or was a recipient of Red Cross services. Still committed to veterans today, the Red Cross stands ready to provide for the VISN 12 system.

For 120 years, the Red Cross has been committed to helping its local communities prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. This has meant not only supplying blood needs but also providing disaster relief assistance, health and safety education and a way for military families to communicate with their loved ones serving our country. When Americans volunteer, donate funds or give blood with the Red Cross, they give hope to people in need throughout the nation. By helping the Red Cross, they help America.

A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of ID are required at check-in. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. Please call 1-800-GIVE-LIF(E), 1-800-448-3543, or visit to make an appointment or find more information. Donors must be at least 17-years-old (16 with parental consent in Iowa and Illinois) and weigh 110 pounds or more. It isn't necessary for donors to know their blood type to donate.

About the American Red Cross

The Red Cross collects nearly half of the nation's blood supply. The Badger-Hawkeye Red Cross Blood Services Region serves hospitals in parts of four states and needs nearly 4,500 volunteer blood donors a week to serve patient needs. The Region has been collecting blood from generous volunteer donors in parts of Eastern Iowa, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Northern Illinois since June of 1950.