“We just know that what we do, is lifesaving.” Linda Walgrave, Lead Tech in our Infectious Disease Testing Lab, is a 40-year employee of Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center. She joined some of her fellow veteran employees to discuss how things have changed and what has remained the same in MVRBC’s four-decade history.
Click here to view our 2014 Annual Report.
1974 | Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is established through the merger of the Rock Island County, Illinois and Scott County, Iowa Blood Banks. The newly formed entity provides 12,000 units of blood to Quad Cities hospitals in its first year.
1975 | First mobile blood drive held at John Deere Foundry.
1976 | MVRBC Headquarters is built on Locust St. in Davenport, Iowa; serves as primary Donor Center, Administrative Center, Laboratory and Distribution Center until 2004.
1978 | First plasmapheresis donation.
1979 | 128k Data General desktop computer is installed at headquarters to enable more accurate record-keeping for donor and laboratory records. System is said to provide “specific lists of donors and their blood types for quick, efficient telephone recruitment.”
1980s | Blood providers across the country and around the world respond to cases of transfusion-transmitted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); new testing and donor screening protocol are developed in response to AIDS crisis.
1985 | HTLV III screening begins.
1986 | Ground broken on first of a two-phase expansion project for Locust St. Headquarters, adding a 40' x 90' garage for mobile units and a 15,000 sq. ft. two-story addition for office and lab space.
1991 | Blood Center launches volunteer program to support product delivery, donor canteen and other operational needs.
1992 |Computer Services Department creates a local area network (LAN) to link databases and desktop computers at headquarters.
1995 | Midwest Regional Blood Alliance created with Southeast Iowa Blood Center and Central Iowa Blood Bank; precursor to eventual merger with SEIBC.
1996 | Richard Navota retires; Patricia Englander is named CEO.
1996 | Whole blood donations exceed 50,000 for the first time.
1999 | Patricia Englander steps down as CEO; Dave Green comes to MVRBC.
1999 | MVRBC celebrates 25-year anniversary with introduction of a new bloodmobile.
1999 | Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) implemented for Hepatitis C and HIV; testing is outsourced nightly with samples shipped to Memorial Blood Center laboratory in Minneapolis.
1999 |Marketing and Information Technology staff launch the MVRBC web site, www.bloodcenter.org.
1999-2003 | MVRBC grew faster than any other Blood Center in the U.S.; After merging with Southeast Iowa Blood Center and adding additional new service hospitals, the Blood Center's size increased from 5 to 11 Donor Centers and 10 to 42 service hospitals while whole blood donations increased by 125%.
2001 | Following the terorrist attacks of 2001, donors volunteer to give blood in record numbers, both nationally and locally. The strong, spontaneous offer of support creates challenges for effective management of the blood supply in times of crisis.
2001 | Merger with Southeast Iowa Blood Center adds 11 hospitals to service region
2002 | MVRBC becomes the first blood center in the U.S. to implement Quality Donor Screening (QDS), a private donor interview with questions delivered on-screen and via voice recording and and responses entered via touch-screen computer.
2002 | MVRBC is identified as one of six hub providers for the Armed Services Blood Program.
2002 | Permanent deferral for vCJD (human variant mad cow disease) is implemented.
2004 | Having outstripped the size of its previous headquarters, MVRBC moves to a new headquarters at 5500 Lakeview Pkwy., Davenport, Iowa. Facility houses a donor center, administrative offices and laboratory space for infectious disease testing, nucleic acid testing (no longer outsourced), component production and product management & distribution.
2005 | Acquisition of Community Blood Center of St. Louis begins blood collection and routine service to St. Louis hospitals.
2006 | Select service hospitals pilot online ordering system, which is fully implemented in 2007.
2007 | MVRBC forms the “Give Blood, Share Life” collaboration with Mercy Cedar Rapids and St. Luke’s Hospital to increase visibility in the Cedar Rapids region.
2008 | Severe flooding in Eastern Iowa creates logistical challenge for product deliveries and blood collection as roads and bridges in the region were closed for weeks at a time.
2010 | Merger with Central Illinois Community Blood Center increases number of service hospitals to 73.
2010 | Significant expansion of MVRBC's laboratory as warehouse space is converted to lab.
2010 | Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, MVRBC joins international effort to provide blood and components to the region.
2010 | Volunteer program marks 20th Anniversary with 387 volunteers providing 43,851 hours of service.
2010 | Blood Center extends outreach to donor and community groups by launching social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
2011 | Merger with Community Blood Services of Illinois adds six new service hospitals in Eastern Illinois
2012 | Dr. Louis Katz leaves MVRBC to become Executive Vice President of America's Blood Centers; Dr. Yasuko Erickson is named Chief Medical Officer for MVRBC.
2012 | MVRBC becomes launch customer for BloodHub online ordering and blood supply management system.
2013 | MVRBC works with fellow members of America’s Blood Centers to provide blood for Boston-area hospitals in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.
2014 | Dave Green resigns as Chief Executive Officer to become President of the Blood Centers Division of Blood Systems, Inc.; Mike Parejko is named CEO.
2014 | Created a mobile-responsive web site in response to increased use of mobile devices to access the blood center's web site.
2014 | Opened a new reference laboratory, distribution center and administrative office in Springfield, Illinois.