News Release, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and its participating medical centers across the country kicked-off blood drives in late April — partnering with theAmerican Red Crossand community organizations — in response to the ongoing national need for blood during the coronavirus disease 2019 public health emergency.

Healthy individuals are encouraged to participate in the ongoingShare Your Health, Roll Up Your Sleeve Todayblood drives hosted by VA medical centers and staffed by the Red Cross or other local blood collection centers.

“As a leader in health care, VA has an obligation to step forward to offer this support to our nation,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilke. “This is an important opportunity for citizens nationwide to support their communities.”

By leveraging VA’s resources to ensure vital blood and blood products are available for patients, VA is exercising its “Fourth Mission” to provide back-up health services to the nation in times of disaster.

Those wishing to donate blood can visitRed Cross Bloodto schedule an appointment. In some areas, VA works with other regional blood collection centers to host blood drives. VA hosted blood drives are scheduled on a rolling basis. Check the Red Cross or VA medical center websites for specific dates.

Federal guidance states blood donors are exempt from “stay at home” orders to participate in this lifesaving activity. VA and the American Red Cross have also adopted additional precautions including requiring masks and social distancing measures at all blood drives to ensure the safety of donors and staff.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...