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59th Wing takes lead on Armed Services Blood Center

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Carwile
  • 59th Medical Wing Public Affairs

The 59th Medical Wing is now at the helm of the first Air Force-led Armed Services Blood Center.


A recent ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the JBSA-Lackland Blood Donor Center’s transition into the Armed Services Blood Bank Center San Antonio.


“This is a great day for the Armed Services Blood Program, this center will be joining the four other Armed Services Blood Centers as the first run by the Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Angela Hudson, Air Force Blood Program chief.


The ASBP is a tri-service venture involving the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The ceremony is the culmination of 10 years of work between the center and ASBP leaders.


Part of the 59th Medical Diagnostic and Therapeutics Squadron, the center’s integration into the Armed Services Blood Program will expand its reach and capabilities.


It collects blood, plasma and platelets for the San Antonio Military Medical Center at nearby JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, as well as other military and Veterans Affairs hospitals across the country.


“We have capitalized on the tri-service culture of the Armed Services Blood Program and designed a Department of Defense center that mirrors how together, we become force multipliers for the combatant commanders’ missions worldwide,” Hudson said.


The center collects approximately 1,100 units of blood each month, and the move to a tri-service organization boosts the center’s global reach and enhances capabilities, according to Tracy Parmer, blood donor recruiter and public affairs specialist for the ASBBC-SA.


“This center is a very useful, key program asset,” said Navy Capt. Roland Fahie, DOD Director of the Armed Services Blood Program. The ASBBC-SA is already involved in research and development to increase the shelf-life of donated platelets from 72 hours to at least 14 days, he said.


Additionally, the 59th MDW saved the U.S. Navy $400,000 over the past year as operational infectious disease testing was transferred to the facility. Currently, ASBBC-SA is the only DOD infectious disease-testing center in the continental U.S., Fahie said.


 “This transition is a natural extension of what is seen on deployments – joint counterparts integrated – taking care of patients and providing exactly what they need,” added Col. Paul Friedrichs, Air Force Medical Operations Agency vice commander.


For more information about ASBBC-SA, call 210-292-8100.