Yes, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is a registered nonprofit 501c3 organization. Our goal is to save lives, not to make a profit. This means that any net revenue over expenses is immediately put back into the organization, for example, to purchase new software, upgrade equipment and to continue making the blood supply as safe as possible. You can view our financial statements on Guidestar.
There is no fee for the blood itself, because it is freely donated. However, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center does charge service fees to the hospitals and other health care providers we serve to recoup the cost of safely collecting, processing and testing each donation. For example:
- The cost of hiring qualified staff and providing ongoing training.
- The cost of equipment, like blood bags, needles, gloves, electricity and donor beds, etc.
- The cost of supplies to test for 10 different infectious diseases (HIV, hepatitis, West Nile, etc.).
- The cost of driving more than 1 million miles every year to convenient blood drives throughout our region and to deliver blood to hospitals—plus the maintenance of our fleet to ensure safe driving!
We charge hospitals service fees to recoup the cost of safely collecting, processing and testing each donation. Each hospital may then choose to bill the patient for these service fees, plus the costs associated with safely storing the blood, administering the transfusion or other associated costs, determined by the hospital.
Our mission is to partner with the community to provide a safe supply of blood, biotherapies and related services. Some of these related services include:
- Recruiting and collecting bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell donations through the Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program, part of the National Marrow Donor Program, which operates the Be The Match Registry.
- Participating in clinical trials that align closely with our areas of expertise to help advance medical knowledge. Most clinical trials use leftover sample test tubes or units that cannot be used for transfusion and some require consent for donor participation.
- Performing advanced compatibility testing to crossmatch units for patients through our Consultation and Reference Laboratory.
- Providing “recovered plasma” for plasma-derived medications. Plasma that comes from a whole blood donation is called “recovered plasma.” Some of this is used for transfusion, but because the other components of whole blood (red blood cells and platelets) are used more frequently than plasma, plasma that would otherwise expire is used to make life-saving medications.
These related services not only allow us to help more patients in more ways, but they provide revenue that helps us continue to carry out our mission of providing blood and blood products to save lives.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center is committed to serving local hospitals first, then helping others as the blood supply allows. On many occasions, The Blood Center has been called upon for help in response to natural disasters, accidents and more. We have been able to send blood to these other areas because local donors made an adequate supply available to do so. Additionally, we are a member of Blood Centers of America, an organization that can help support these needs through the resources of nearly 50 independent blood center members.