Suncoast Science & Blood Centers Partner to Increase Blood Donations Amid COVID-19

Just a few short months ago, the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab (SSC) rapidly shifted its work to design, prototype and fabricate face masks and shields to help fill the growing shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) among healthcare workers as the COVID-19 pandemic developed. With the support of over 250 volunteers, the SSC COVID-19 Face Mask & Shield Project provided over 4,000 masks and shields for healthcare workers and first responders who have continued to work diligently to defend the health and safety of the community.

As a not-for-profit community organization seeking to continue its support of citizens during this time of need, SSC has partnered with SunCoast Blood Centers (SCBC) to host a blood drive and address urgent blood and platelet deficiencies. Local hospitals are relying on convalescent plasma as a first line of treatment for COVID-19 patients but there is a shortage of reserves to meet current patient needs. New blood and plasma donations are critically needed at this time. All successful blood donations made at the drive will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies at no charge.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic SCBC has relied on the generosity and support of our community. Many of our blood drives are canceled due to the virus so we are especially grateful to the Suncoast Science Center for hosting the upcoming drive,” shared Jayne Giroux, Director of Community Development for SCBC. “While we endeavor to provide the products needed for critically ill COVID patients, we must still provide blood products for those who are suffering traumas, going through cancer treatment as well as having major surgery.” 

The blood drive will be held from 11am-4pm on Wednesday, July 29 at 4452 South Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL 34233. Volunteer-led tours of the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab will be available for blood donors and visitors. In addition to the COVID-19 antibody test, all blood donors will receive a special memento designed by SSC students using the lab’s state-of-the-art equipment.

To reserve your appointment to donate blood, visit https://donor.scbb.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/27193 or call 1-866-97-BLOOD. For questions about the blood drive, contact Donna Leigh-Estes at donna.estes@suncoastscience.org or call 941-840-4394.

About the Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab

The Suncoast Science Center/Faulhaber Fab Lab is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded with the mission to inspire and support tomorrow’s innovators through experiential learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Through its fabrication lab and innovative programs, the Suncoast Science Center encourages people of all ages to explore ideas, build skills and confidence, and become lifelong learners. To learn more, visit www.suncoastscience.org or connect with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

About SunCoast Blood Centers

A registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, SunCoast Blood Centers has provided a reliable supply of safe blood products and services for our community since 1949. SunCoast is the exclusive supplier of blood products and services for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare SystemDoctors Hospital of Sarasota, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, Complex Care Hospital of Ridgelake, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota, North Port Emergency Room, Fawcett Memorial Hospital of Port Charlotte, Englewood Community Hospital and DeSoto Memorial Hospital. SunCoast also partners with Moffitt Cancer Center to provide blood products including pathogen reduced platelets. Recognized for its outstanding service, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce honored SunCoast as the 2017 Non-profit of the Year. SunCoast participates in cancer treatment programs, research and provides therapeutic services at the hospitals it serves. For donor locations and more information, visit www.suncoastblood.org.

Photos courtesy of Suncoast Science Center

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2020-07-09