Personal Health Information Privacy Program

This Privacy Program explains how your personal health information may be used and disclosed. Please review it carefully

Purpose: The Blood Center collects certain personal health information when you donate blood. This information is necessary for identification purposes, safeguarding the blood supply, recruitment, matching blood donors with recipients, testing and follow-up activities, and other donation-related activities that may be necessary for medical purposes or required by law. Although The Blood Center is not a HIPAA covered entity, we respect the confidentiality of your health information, subject to the necessary uses described herein, and will protect the privacy of your information to the best of our ability and to the extent required by law.

This program describes our privacy practices and explains how we use and maintain your health information to ensure the adequacy and safety of the blood you so generously donate to patients in need.

How The Blood Center May Use Personal Health Information

We may use your personal health information for the following purposes and in the following ways:

  • To send you appointment reminders.
  • To schedule your next donation or to contact you with a request to donate blood.
  • To notify a volunteer donor chairperson (if you participate in a company campaign) for purposes of scheduling donations (i.e. name, blood type, phone number), or for contacting you if there is an urgent need for your blood type.
  • To provide information to a disaster relief agency, if you are involved in a disaster relief effort.
  • To prevent a serious threat to health or safety.
  • To share information with health care providers involved in your treatment. For example, we may share information about your test results with your physician, if you are an autologous donor (you are giving blood for your own use), you are giving blood for therapeutic treatment, or you are undergoing a therapeutic apheresis procedure.
  • To conduct internal operations, including, but not limited to, quality control, quality improvement, training, employee evaluations, attorneys and insurers for professional liability or risk management purposes, or licensing or accreditation.
  • To conduct business operations through business associates, for example, to install a new computer system requiring technicians to have access to records.
  • In the event you experience a medical emergency, we may notify a family member or other responsible person of the medical emergency and provide information necessary to make treatment decisions. For example, if you have an adverse reaction to a blood donation, we may need to explain what happened and instructions regarding your care to a person driving you home or to receive medical care.
  • Under limited circumstances, we may use and disclose medical information for research purposes. All research projects are subject to an approval process, and we generally ask for your written authorization before using your personal health information for research purposes.
  • As permitted or required by law. For example,
    • Texas law permits blood banks to share certain information for the safety of the blood supply and for public health activities, including, but not limited to, other blood banks, state agencies for donor safety, disease prevention, injury or disability, reporting deaths, reporting reactions, product problems, notification of recalls, and infectious disease control.
    • Health oversight activities by governmental or accrediting agencies, for example, audits, inspections, investigations and licensure.
    • Judicial process related to lawsuits and disputes.
    • Law enforcement activities, for instance, in response to a court order or other legal process.
    • To military command authorities if you are a member of the armed forces or a member of a foreign military authority.
    • National security and intelligence activities.
    • Protection of the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state, or to conduct special investigations.
  • Notifying the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), if you have consented to participate in the NMDP.
  • Fundraising activities by The Blood Center, but such information will be limited to your name, address, and phone number. You will have an opportunity to refuse to receive these communications.
  • Informing you of a community need for additional blood and encouraging you to continue to be a blood donor.

The Blood Center may electronically use or disclose your personal information for one or more of the ways or purposes above.

Your Authorization Is Required for Other Disclosures.

Except as described above and as permitted or required by law, we will not use or disclose your personal health information unless you authorize us in writing to disclose the information for the purpose you authorize. You may revoke your authorization by written letter, which will be effective only after the date of your written revocation.

You Have Options Regarding Your Health Information.

You may request special confidentiality protections regarding your personal health information by written letter; however, there may be some requests that we cannot accommodate.

Confidential Communications. You may request communications in a certain way (for example, telephone or email) or at a certain location, but you must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.

Copy of Personal Health Information Record. You may request in writing a copy of the record containing your personal health information. We may require you to provide proof of identity and charge a fee for copying, mailing and supplies.

Additional Data We Collect

The Blood Center collects additional data to operate effectively and provide you the best experiences with our services. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you create a Digital Donor account, or contact us for customer service. We get some of it by recording how you interact with our services by, for example, using technologies like cookies.

The data we collect depends on the services and features you use, and includes the following:

  • Name and contact data. We collect your first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number, and other similar contact data.
  • Credentials. We collect passwords, password hints, and similar security information used for authentication and account access.
  • Demographic data. We collect data about you such as your age and gender.
  • Payment data. We collect data necessary to process your payment if you make a payment or financial donation, such as your payment instrument number (such as a credit card number).
  • Usage data. We collect data about how you interact with our services. This includes data, such as the features you use, the items you purchase from the Commit for Life Store, and the web pages you visit. This also includes data about your device and the network you use to connect to our services, including IP address, operating system, and web browser used.

How to Access and Control Your Personal Data

You can view or edit your personal data online within Digital Donor and/or Digital Coordinator. You can also contact The Blood Center by using our Customer Service web form, email address, or phone number. We will respond to requests to within one regular business day.

Your Communications Preferences

You can choose whether you wish to receive promotional communications from The Blood Center by email, postal mail, and telephone. If you receive promotional email from us and would like to opt out, you can do so by following the directions in that message. You can also make choices about the receipt of promotional email, postal mail, and telephone calls by signing into Digital Donor, which allows you to update contact information and manage contact preferences. If you do not have a Digital Donor account, you can manage your contact preferences by contacting Customer Service. These choices do not apply to some communications that are part of certain required notification services, or to confirmations or transaction receipts.

Our Use of Cookies

The Blood Center uses cookies (small text files placed on your device) to provide our services and help collect data. The text in a cookie often consists of a string of numbers and letters that uniquely identifies your computer, but it can contain other information as well. We use cookies for several purposes, including:

  • Sign-in and Authentication. When you sign into a site using your Digital Donor account, we store a unique ID number, and the time you signed in, in an encrypted cookie on your device. This cookie allows you to move from page to page within the site without having to sign in again on each page.
  • Analytics. In order to provide our services, we use cookies and other identifiers to gather usage and performance data. For example, we use cookies to count the number of unique visitors to a web page or service and to develop other statistics.

Security of Personal Data

The Blood Center is committed to protecting the security of your personal data. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal data from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. For example, we store the personal data you provide on computer systems that have limited access and are in controlled facilities. When we transmit highly confidential data (such as a credit card number or password) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption.

Changes to This Privacy Program 

The Blood Center may change this Privacy Program, and these changes will be effective with regard to existing health information, additional data, as well as any information we receive in the future.

At your request, we will provide you with a printed copy of this Privacy Program.

Complaints

If you believe your privacy has been violated, you may file a complaint with The Blood Center on our confidential compliance and privacy hotline at 1(877) 874-8420. You will not be penalized or retaliated against in any way for making a complaint to The Blood Center.

Contact: Send an email to privacy@giveblood.org if you wish to discuss a complaint, review your personal information collected, request corrections to that information, or if you have any questions about this Privacy Program. Written requests can be mailed to Privacy Program, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, 1400 La Concha Lane, Houston, Texas 77054.

Blood Center News
The Blood Center helping nationwide during times of crisis

Thanks to dedicated donors who have ensured an adequate supply is available local patients, The Blood Center has been able to assist blood centers nationwide during times of crisis in 2016. Most recently, The Blood Center sent blood to Florida after the state was unable to collect during Hurricane Matthew.

New source plasma donation sites added to Blood Center roster

Source plasma is the latest blood component that The Blood Center has begun to collect in an effort to help save more lives. Source plasma is a component that is used to make therapeutic proteins, which are lifesaving medicines for patients battling more than 80 different diseases.

New weight requirements for donors between the ages of 16 to 18

As of Aug. 16, donors between the ages of 16 to 18 must be at least 122 pounds to donate. This is latest step The Blood Center is taking to help reduce the risk of donor reactions and injuries, which are more common among smaller, younger donors.

The Blood Center sends units to Dallas following shootings

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center sends blood to Dallas to help those in need following Thursday's shootings.

MILA Foundation partners with The Blood Center

The Blood Center has various partners throughout the community who help us save lives and continuously accomplish our mission. Recently, we hosted a blood drive with a new partner whose mission is as honorable as any and whose story is profound.

The Blood Center partners with the Houston Zoo

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center recently embarked on a unique partnership with the Houston Zoo that is dedicated to helping treat a deadly virus in elephants.

Regulatory Changes Affect Donor Eligibility

The FDA has revised its donor acceptability guidelines, and Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will implement these changes beginning May 23, 2016.

2016 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is excited to announce the 2016 Commit for Life Scholarship recipients.

Blood Center to Begin Testing for Zika Virus May 23

The test is part of an Investigational New Drug Application protocol approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The cobas® Zika test is manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems.

The Blood Center holds annual brunch for volunteers

Every year, The Blood Center takes time during National Volunteer Appreciation Week to thank the volunteers who used their time to help us save lives.

Meet our Volunteers: Marsha Asplin and Jim Daurity

This month we would like to highlight the dynamic duo of Marsha Asplin and Jim Daurity. Marsha and Jim volunteered the most hours in 2015.

Annual 'Roll the Dice' event raises funds for Marrow Donor Program

The Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program successfully raised $140,000 at their 18th annual Roll the Dice for Life event. The money will go toward continued efforts of helping patients fighting blood cancers.

The Blood Center safeguarding against Zika Virus

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is taking measures to help safeguard the blood supply as the Zika Virus spreads.

Meet Our Volunteers: Humble/Kingwood Community Advocates

Volunteering as a Community Advocate at one of our 13 Neighborhood Donor Centers is one way individuals may partner with The Blood Center to save lives.

The Blood Center celebrates 27th 100-gallon donor

The Blood Center congratulates James Tullis for giving his 100th gallon of blood in November.

New Commit for Life Program

Beginning Oct. 6, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is excited to introduce an updated Commit for Life program that will reflect the changing daily needs of patients and ensure donors are recognized for giving the most essential blood components.

August 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

July 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

June 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Hematocrit Deferral Period Extended

Having a low hematocrit level is one of the most common reasons individuals are deferred from donating blood.

May 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Commit for Life Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

Celebrating our Volunteers

On Saturday, April 18, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch recognized our hardworking and dedicated Commit for Life volunteers.

April 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

March 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

2015 Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Gold-level blood drive groups – those that host at least four drives per year – were honored at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s annual “A Celebration of Life” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony on Feb. 12, 2015 at the Royal Sonesta Houston Galleria. 

February 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Roll the Dice for Life

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Marrow Donor Program hosted its 17th annual Roll the Dice for Life fundraiser Friday, Feb. 6, at The Bell Tower on 34th.

January 2015 Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Patrick McDonald is 26th 100-Gallon Donor

On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Patrick McDonald of Deer Park became the 26th blood donor in the Texas Gulf Coast region to give 800 donations, the equivalent of 100 gallons.

December Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the December edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

November Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the November edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Workshop Prepares Students to Host Blood Drives

Last week, 180 local high school students took over the halls and conference rooms of Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s headquarters for the 2014 High School Workshop.

October Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the October edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Circle of Life Bike Tour Rides into Houston

The Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour rode into Houston on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, to raise awareness of the need for more lifesaving blood, bone marrow, organ and tissue donors in Texas. 

September Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the September edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

August Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the August edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to Our Gas Card Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in July’s gas card giveaway and congratulations to our winners. Here are last month’s winners and where they donated.

July Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Congratulations to our Family Vacation Month Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in June’s Family Vacation Month giveaway and congratulations to our winners.

June Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the June edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New License Expands Impact on Rare Donor Patients

Thanks to a recently approved FDA license, patients across the country in need of rare units of red blood cells may breathe a little sigh of relief. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center Gives Back

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center serves more than 170 hospitals and health care institutions in the 26-county Texas Gulf Coast, Brazos Valley and East Texas regions. 

May Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the May edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Commit for Life Creative Scholarship Winners

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has selected the winners of its Commit for Life Creative Scholarship. 

April Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the April edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

New Rare Donor Program: One 2 One

You may have recently received a letter in the mail from us thanking you for your donation along with a new green and white donor ID card with the words “One 2 One” on it.

March Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the March edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

February Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the February edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Gold-level Groups Honored at Annual 'Celebration'

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center hosted its annual “A Celebration for Life” luncheon and awards ceremony at Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel on Feb. 28.

Six Days a Week to Help Save Lives!

Starting Feb. 17, most Houston-area Neighborhood Donor Centers will be open six days a week!

Creative Scholarship Deadline is March 1

The deadline for The Blood Center’s Commit for Life Creative Scholarship is rapidly approaching, and eligible high school seniors are encouraged to apply by March 1!

January Commit for Life Newsletter

Welcome to the January edition of the Commit for Life Newsletter, your source for the latest Commit for Life news and updates!

Additional Donor Centers Now Open Mondays

Beginning Monday, Jan. 6, donors in the Clear LakeThe Woodlands and Westchase areas will have extra opportunities to help save lives! These Neighborhood Donor Centers will now be open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Meet the Executives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s executive team spearheads the organization’s mission of partnering with the community to help save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related service. Meet the dynamic men and women who drive The Blood Center’s continued success.

National Volunteer Week 2016

April 10 through 16 is National Volunteer Week. It is a time when organizations around the country highlight and show appreciation for the people who unselfishly donate their time to various causes for the benefit of others. 

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Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

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