U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) announced that the House of Representatives has approved $500,000 for the Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) to construct a new blood storage and donor service center in Somerset. Rogers secured these critical funds in the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill to strengthen the available blood supply for emergencies in southern and eastern Kentucky. The bill passed the House on July 23, 2009, and awaits Senate action later this year.
“Ensuring that southern and eastern Kentucky is well prepared for emergencies is a top priority of mine and adequate blood supply is at the top of our list of needs,” said Rogers. “This announcement is great news for our efforts to improve our resiliency to an act of terrorism, natural disaster, or an unfortunate accident. Lives have been saved because of the Kentucky Blood Center’s long-standing efforts to meet the demands of any emergency situation and I applaud their tenacity in seeing this project move forward. This new facility builds on KBC’s fine record and improves our region’s ability to respond locally and nationally to the call for blood supply.”
According to the American Association of Blood Banks International Task Force on Domestic Disasters, the single greatest risk from a disaster is not a lack of blood, but a disruption of the blood delivery system. The small size of KBC’s current Pulaski County facility has proved insufficient to accommodate the growth in blood donation and staffing in southeast Kentucky. The new blood donor center, slated for construction along US-27 in Somerset, will allow KBC to develop a regional approach in meeting blood donation needs and increase preparedness for a disaster or blood emergency with greater storage capacity. The project has already undergone development and design, and can be under construction within 90 days.
The Kentucky Blood Center was founded in 1968 with a mission to save lives by providing blood products of the highest quality to patients in Kentucky in an economically sound manner. Through continuous improvements they strive to maintain their status of a premier blood center by exceeding industry standards and community expectations.
As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers works to secure funding for important initiatives in the fifth Congressional District.