New Neighborhood Blood Center

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has opened its newest Neighborhood Donor Center on Houston's west side. Jim Bell reports.

It's the Westchase Donor Center at 10001 Westheimer in the Carillon Shopping Center. 

"And this center is actually replacing our Memorial City Neighborhood Donor Center, which we had over on Frostwood for a while, but that experience, and problems with the building we had to move." 

Blood Center Spokeswoman Sheena Abraham says the Westchase center doesn't have the accessibility problems the Memorial City location had with all the freeway construction on I-10.

"Many donors are saying this is a lot closer for them, this is more on their commute, and it's a lot easier for them to stop by and donate." 

Abraham says they're hoping the location and ease of access at Westchase will bring more people in to donate blood, because this is a critical time of year for the blood center.

"Because in the summer time our regular donors become busy, they go on vacation. High school students aren't in school so we don't have our high school blood drives. Those are some of the major reasons we tend to have fewer donations in the summer and during the holidays."

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has 15 locations that collect donated blood for more than 200 hospitals in 25 southeast Texas counties. 

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.