Stanford Blood Center to Hold Nov. 5 Party for New Facility

Attention News Desk: Press Release (for immediate release)
Michele Hyndman (650) 723-8237

STANFORD, Calif. – There's new blood in Palo Alto: The Stanford Blood Center has moved into its new flagship building south of campus near the Veteran's Administration hospital, and officials will be showing off the facility at a grand opening party for the public on Nov. 5 from noon to 3 p.m.

The new location was established to give the blood center and the Stanford School of Medicine's Department of Pathology much-needed – and plush – space for donor care and research facilities, explained Michele Hyndman, the center's public relations manager. In the new digs, donors can relax in cozy recliners and watch a DVD while giving blood in an open space with natural light. After the process is complete, donors can replenish with fruit juices, espresso and snacks at the canteen a few feet away.

“We want to give donors a more comfortable experience,” said Hyndman.

The new center is at 3373 Hillview Ave., off Foothill Expressway and Page Mill Road, and houses research labs and staff, along with donor services. This will be the third site for blood donations in the area; the other centers are at 780 Welch Road in Palo Alto and 515 South Drive in Mountain View. The centers collect half of the overall blood donations, with mobile units collecting the rest.

Donated blood is put through a strict testing and manufacturing process before leaving the center to ensure blood quality for patients, said blood center administrator Vince Yalon. “We have a zero-tolerance policy about donor blood safety,” he added, noting that laboratory sections of the new center are designed to meet the same standards as pharmaceutical laboratories.

The grand opening for the new facility, which opened Sept. 16, will include a health fair with staff explaining key features of the blood center, along with music, a free catered barbecue lunch, blood pressure checks and prizes. The scheduled speakers are Edgar Engleman, MD, director of the blood center and professor of pathology and of medicine; Stephen Galli, MD, professor and chair of pathology; Yalon, and a former patient, Meghan Daily, who was able to overcome a life-threatening disease thanks to 987 units of blood she received from the center.

Additionally, the public can tour the center during the event to see what happens to the blood they have donated before it is shipped off. For example, platelets that are collected for cancer patients go through a centrifuge – a device that acts as the spin cycle in a washing machine to sort blood components based on their mass.

Giving blood typically takes 15 minutes for whole blood donors, the most common type of donation. For automated blood collection, in which a donor gives only certain portions of their blood, about an hour is required. Donors must be in good health with no cold or flu symptoms. Before giving blood, donors should eat well and drink fluids.

“The new chairs are the best part of this place,” remarked Ruth Lunsford, an automated blood collection donor who was giving blood last week. Lunsford said that the Mountain View center is closer to her home, but she drives to the new center every three weeks because she prefers the new donor chairs and the open feel of the new center.

To complement its new quarters, the blood center has developed a new logo. The new design combines a heart with two drops that look like hands holding the heart. The new design is intended to convey a sense of caring. “Altogether, the shape could be a flower or a hug,” according to the center's Web site. “It communicates warmth and community.” And the flower element, it notes, shows how the blood center continues to grow and evolve.

Those interested in donating or wishing more information can contact the center at (650) 723-7831 or (888) 723-7831. Appointments can also be scheduled online at

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Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford. For more information, please visit the Web site of the medical center's Office of Communication & Public Affairs at