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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 8, 2011, 7:24 am

Blood Centers of the Pacific takes over Santa Rosa facility

Former Blood Bank of the Redwoods; half of staff stays on

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    SANTA ROSA – Blood Centers of the Pacific last week officially opened its Santa Rosa location, replacing Blood Bank of the Redwoods after the two organizations merged.

    The San Francisco-based Blood Centers purchased Blood Bank of the Redwood’s 13,500 square-foot building on Bethards Drive on July 6 and began seeing donors on Aug. 1.

    With the merger, Blood Centers added nine North Coast hospitals to its list of recipients, in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, bringing its total to 51 hospitals in Northern California, according to Lisa Bloch, spokeswoman for Blood Centers of the Pacific.

    A total of 48 employees with the former Santa Rosa blood bank lost their jobs, Ms. Bloch said; another 48 stayed on with the organization, now headed by Nora Hirschler, president and CEO of the nonprofit San Francisco blood bank, the largest in the Bay Area. The two blood banks operated as independent agencies until the due diligence was completed.

    Cathy Bryan, CEO of the Santa Rosa blood bank, will stay on for a brief period to help with the transition, officials said.

    The merger took effect June 30 and was announced in mid-March, after the Santa Rosa blood bank lost $444,000 on $11.6 million in revenue. The Santa Rosa blood bank had posted losses for two consecutive years, and in 2008, it lost its supply contract with Sonoma County’s largest hospital,  Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, on top of decreased donations.

    Blood Centers of the Pacific is an affiliate of Blood Systems, a national nonprofit blood center organization based in Scottsdale, Ariz., that lends other centers more stability. Blood Systems serves 500 hospitals.

    The San Francisco blood bank formerly covered territory near Blood Bank of the Redwood’s area, including Marin, Yolo and Humboldt counties, in addition to Memorial and Petaluma Valley hospitals, both operated by St. Joseph Health System–Sonoma County.

    Consolidations of HR, technical, medical expertise and IT should help the new organization gain economies of scale while become more efficient, officials said in announcing the merger.

    The new hospitals that Blood Bank of the Pacific will now supply blood to include: Sonoma Valley, Palm Drive, Healdsburg District, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa, Sutter Lakeside, St. Helena Clear Lake, Ukiah Valley and Mendocino Coast District Hospital.

    Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the price of the building. It was incorrect.

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