SAN FRANCISCO, SANTA ROSA -- Blood Bank of the Redwoods (BBR) and Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP) announced today that the boards of directors of the two nonprofit blood centers have agreed to discuss merging into a single organization.

The announcement was made by Nora Hirschler, M.D., Blood Centers of the Pacific president and CEO and by Cathy Bryan, Blood Bank of the Redwoods CEO and president.

"Today’s economic and healthcare climate dictates that we look at all possible options to ensure that we deliver on our mission today and for years to come," said Ms. Bryan. "I’ve guided this organization for more than 20 years and we have excelled as an independent blood center in serving our local hospitals and the community. Our approach and expertise fit well with BCP’s commitment to patients, donors, physicians and hospitals."

If the merger proceeds it would extend the Blood Centers of the Pacific service area to include nine additional hospitals in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties. It is expected that the BBR blood center in Santa Rosa would continue to be a hub of operations for those counties and could expand service east and south to hospitals and donors.

"Both our organizations have a long history of extraordinary service to the communities we serve and we look forward to combining forces to ensure lifesaving blood is always there for patients who depend on it," said Dr. Hirschler. "Twelve years ago, BCP affiliated with one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations – Blood Systems. This relationship enabled us to better serve our customers while gaining economies of scale that a larger organization provides. We look forward to providing a similar opportunity to BBR."

During the due diligence period, which is expected to last several months, the blood centers will continue operations without any changes.

Blood Centers of the Pacific supplies blood to more than 40 hospitals in Northern California.

Blood Bank of the Redwoods serves Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties.