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 the American Red Cross and 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 ongoing Share Your Health, Roll Up Your Sleeve Today blood 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 visit Red Cross Blood to 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.