Letter: Blood diversion is a blow to West Michigan efforts

April 8, 2016
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Your Street Talk feature (“Slam-dunk design,” March 28) on the American Red Cross blood donation appeal is a major disservice to our community and the hospitals in Kent County.

Michigan Blood, a not-for-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids, is the sole provider of blood products to all of the local hospitals, including Spectrum Health, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Metro Health. In addition, Michigan Blood is the sole provider of blood to the majority of hospitals in Southwest, West and Northern Michigan.

The consequences of your misinformed endorsement will result in life-saving blood being diverted from our community to serve Detroit, Lansing and other distant areas. This is especially harmful if O negative donors now choose the American Red Cross instead of having their much-needed blood type available to help their neighbors, friends and families in our Grand Rapids hospitals.

I recognize that blood donors have a choice; we hope that they choose to support their local hospitals and community by donating to Michigan Blood.

Bill Rietscha

CEO and President

Michigan Blood

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