GRAND RE-OPENING- Long time donor Elizabeth Van Slyke talks to Emily Grose from Lindsay Thurber High School while she gives blood during the grand re-opening last week.

Red Deer blood clinic celebrates grand re-opening

Canadian Blood Services held their official grand re-opening last Thursday in Red Deer to show off the new renovations to the clinic.

The clinic has expanded from 2,200 sq. ft. to 3,862 sq. ft., which will provide more space for nurses to work and also more comfort for donors.

“We encourage our current donors to keep giving and we believe the new clinic offers a more comfortable and enjoyable donation experience and we are confident that they will keep donating,” said Susan Matsumoto, director of donor and clinic services, Alberta North West Territories. “Ultimately all these improvements help us to keep the blood system strong for the patients because patients are the core of what we do.”

This year the clinic hopes to collect about 11,036 blood donations in Red Deer to keep up with the need in the province.

Ian Mumford, chief operating officer for Canadian Blood Services, started hearing about the space issues from the staff in Red Deer five years ago.

“When I first started hearing from our staff that the space and the clinic was getting very tight, I used to say to my colleges in Ottawa that I could sit on the bed or lay on the bed and by stretching out I could hit both walls,” said Mumford, “Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but that helped get the message across.”

Long time donor Elizabeth Van Slyke, 69, has been a donor since about 1963 in Red Deer and has given blood 177 times.

“I think its fantastic, the people who work here are the best and the nurses are the greatest,” said Van Slyke. “I have never had bad time at the Red Deer Blood Clinic and I don’t expect I ever will.”

She also said she will keep coming back and encourages others to come back not only to help others, but also to help yourself.

“Once I got started I just kept going as long as I could and I still am until they tell me I can’t do this anymore, or they kick me out,” said Van Slyke.

“Remember always your not only helping people that get your blood but your also helping yourself, so just keep coming and just keep giving.”

For more information call 1-888-2DONATE.

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