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Northeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross Blood Program Honored

Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the American Red Cross Blood Program in my District in Pennsylvania. On March 9, the local chapter will celebrate 50 years of service to Northeastern Pennsylvania. I am pleased and proud to have been asked to participate in the celebration.

It is fitting, during American Red Cross Month, to acknowledge the outstanding service of the blood program. In 1950, the Wyoming Valley Chapter of Blood Services was formed. By the end of the first year, over 21,000 units of blood were collected and the unit was serving 17 counties and 56 hospitals.

In 1979, the facility moved to its current location in Hanover Industrial Estates and expanded service to 19 counties in Pennsylvania and 2 counties in New York. Expansion continued when Bloodmobile Buses were included, taking the collection effort throughout the district. By 1999, the program included two bloodmobile units.

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that the American Red Cross is one of our nation's finest and most dedicated institutions, helping millions of people through disaster and difficulty. The blood program is a vital part of that effort. Currently the local chapter serves 1.5 million people, and in 1999, collected an unprecedented 87,600 units of blood.

Blood collection assists in the care of the critically ill, premature newborns, accident victims, surgery patients, and burn victims. Over 10,000 volunteers assist the staff of 200 professionals, currently led by Ms. Chris Rogers. The agency supplies blood to 41 hospitals in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. In addition to collecting blood, the Blood Center offers blood testing, including typing and HIV testing.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to bring this milestone anniversary of the American Red Cross Blood Program of Northeastern Pennsylvania to the attention of my colleagues. I send these dedicated people my sincere gratitude for a ``job well done'' and best wishes for continued success.