Norwood to lose mobile blood donor clinic
Residents in Norwood, Ont., will have two more opportunities to donate blood at a mobile clinic in the small community.
The clinic, which has popped up at the town hall for the last 15 years, will run Saturday, Sept. 22 and again on Dec. 29. After that, residents will have to travel 30 kilometres west to the permanent clinic in Peterborough or 25 kilometres southeast to the clinic in Campbellford.
Canadian Blood Services says it reviews its mobile clinics on an annual basis to determine their sustainability. Clinics are assessed according to a number of criteria including staffing, logistics, hospital demand and cost efficiency.
It was based on those factors Canadian Blood Services pulled its Norwood mobile clinic.
“While we are not asking Norwood donors to travel far to donate, we will welcome anyone who is able to make blood donation part of their travel plans when they are visiting a nearby clinic across Canada,” said Marco Ouji, spokesperson for Canadian Blood Services. “While Canadian Blood Services recognizes that some donors may be disappointed with this news, the organization hopes that Norwood residents will remain engaged with them.”
The loss of the mobile clinic will affect donors such as Joe Sherry, who lives and works just outside of Norwood.
His son Owen, 12, had a heart transplant when he was only a month old. Joe has donated blood at the Norwood clinic ever since.
“Because of the heart transplant, he needed a lot of blood. Before that, I never donated, but you see the need and you realize it’s out there, so I started donating. I’ve donated 45 times since,” said Sherry.
The Lions Club co-ordinates the mobile clinics, which run quarterly, in the village.
“Over the time, we’ve probably have averaged about 50 donors per clinic,” said Al Partington, Lions Club member and co-ordinator of the clinic. “The answers I get is Peterborough is closest. They’re not admitting to me that it’s cost savings. I’m not sure why they’re closing our clinic. No one has ever said.”
Saturday’s clinic is in honour of Bri Van Allen, a young girl from Havelock, who has stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. To register go to blood.ca.