Rock River Valley Blood Center to begin accepting 16-year-old donors in Illinois

The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) recently announced healthy individuals at least 16 years of age may now give the gift of life and become a blood donor. Until today, RRVBC only allowed those 17 years and older to donate. In Illinois, 16 year old donors require parental permission.

“After receiving MANY inquiries of interest in the past few years from would-be 16-year-old donors and many of their parents, we decided to give this next generation of blood donors the opportunity to become civically minded and donate blood,” said Heidi Ognibene, director of Community Resources.

The age restriction was a self-imposed restriction, and was not required by Illinois or federal accrediting or licensing organizations. “We have had a number 16 year olds call to request that they be allowed to donate. In addition, many parents have also voiced that opinion. As awareness is raised about the need for blood, the public has expressed more interest in supporting our mission. RRVBC has put processes in place to ensure we can best serve our customers—the donors and patients of our community,” said Jennifer Bowman, public relations manager.

“Sixteen-year-old donors will be required to obtain parental permission. Permission slips will be provided by RRVBC and kept on file,” added Bowman.

The Rock River Valley Blood Center is the sole supplier of blood and related services to OSF Saint Anthony, Rockford Memorial, SwedishAmerican, Beloit Memorial, Edgerton Memorial Community, Freeport Health Network, Harvard Memorial, Northwest Suburban Community and Rochelle Community hospitals. Community-minded volunteers donate virtually all of this country’s supply of blood for transfusion.

For more information, contact RRVBC at 815/965-8751 or toll-free at 866-889-9073.

From the Feb. 1-7, 2006, issue

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