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South Texas Blood & Tissue expands presence in Victoria to improve donor experience and access, support region’s growing demand for blood

Blood donation center to be relocated next to H-E-B Plus; M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation grant to fund new bloodmobile for area

VICTORIA South Texas Blood & Tissue is expanding its presence in the Crossroads area by making two major investments in its Victoria blood operations: relocating its donor center next to the H-E-B Plus and adding a new bloodmobile to support blood drives in the region.

The vehicle will be acquired thanks to a grant from the M.G. & Lillie A. Johnson Foundation, which supports health and education initiatives in a 15-county area around Victoria.

Grand opening ceremonies for the new donor center at 6106 N. Navarro St. are planned for Thursday, March 30.

The new location will offer an opportunity for H-E-B customers to conveniently donate blood before or after grocery shopping, or while running errands in the shopping center. An updated look and feel at the center will include art inspired by the community.

“We are excited that the convenience of this new donor center will help inspire more people in the Victoria community to give blood routinely, thereby helping make sure the local patients’ needs are met and improving health equity and access to care,” said Adrienne Mendoza, Chief Operating Officer at South Texas Blood & Tissue.

The organization also is expanding its outreach in Victoria with a new ad campaign in English and in Spanish that aims to increase awareness and donations.

South Texas Blood & Tissue, the blood services provider for several hospitals in Victoria and surrounding counties, is making the investments in Victoria as part of an effort to reach additional blood donors in the Crossroads and to support the region’s health care system.

The organization’s existing facility at 1109 Sam Houston Drive will no longer collect blood donations but will serve as a hub for hospital services in the southeastern section of the blood center’s service area.

“We continue to receive more blood donations each year; however, donations still have not caught up to the hospitals’ demand for blood in our region,” said Audra Taylor, Executive Director of Blood Operations at South Texas Blood & Tissue. “We’re doing all that we can to accommodate generous volunteer blood donors across our service area.”

South Texas Blood & Tissue, which serves more than 100 hospitals in 48 counties, has seen the need for blood increase by 15% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapid population growth in South Texas has been the biggest factor leading to an increased need for blood.

Blood donations help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those undergoing treatment for cancer, sickle cell disease and many more.

Donors can make an appointment with South Texas Blood & Tissue by calling 210-731-5590 or visiting SouthTexasBlood.org. Same-day appointments and walk-ins are available at the center’s nine donor rooms, as well as at community blood drives. Donors at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent) and in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

The hours at the new donor center will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and on Tuesdays, and 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The new bloodmobile funded by the Johnson Foundation will be specially designed and manufactured to support blood collections and is expected to be available in late 2024.