Community Blood Services, an independent, not-for-profit blood center in Bergen County, New Jersey, has expanded its outreach in New York State in an effort to meet the increasing need for blood by Orange and Rockland county hospitals.

"We are experiencing a critical blood shortage," said Dr. Dennis Todd, president and CEO of the Bergen Community Regional Blood Center in Paramus, N.J. "By expanding our collection efforts in New York State we will be able to better meet the needs of the people in this area."

Community Blood Services has been the major supplier of blood products and services to the hospitals of Orange and Rockland counties for many years. Starting this month the blood center will begin collecting from the many volunteer blood donors in these areas.

"Blood collected in these communities stays in the communities. We do not 'export' community blood to far away places," added Dr. Todd, who lives in Orange County.

The center provides a growing number of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to Orange and Rockland county hospitals, which are now undertaking more sophisticated medical procedures and therapies in the areas of trauma care, oncology, surgery and dialysis.

"The hospitals in the region have long appreciated Community Blood Services for quality blood products, excellent customer service, fast response to hospitals' needs and for helping to hold the reigns on spiraling health care costs," said Chris Staub, the centerís director of hospital services and a Rockland County resident.

"We want the thousands of healthy individuals - the prospective blood donors from Orange and Rockland counties- to know that our bloodmobiles are going to make it more convenient for them to give blood," Staub said.

A successful blood drive was recently held at Pearson Education in West Nyack, and another drive will be held there in September. Staub said future drives are scheduled at:

  • Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen on Friday, April 20th and every third Friday of the month from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the bloodmobile.

  • St. Anthonyís Community Hospital, Warwick Community Blood Drive, on Tuesday, April 24th from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in the bloodmobile on Saturday, April 28th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to be followed by twice monthly blood drives.
  • Rella Fields in Suffern, Families and Friends of the Ramapo Little League Blood Drive, on Saturday, May 12th from noon to 6 p.m. in the bloodmobile.

First-time Orange and Rockland county blood donors will receive a small gift. All donors receive a free cholesterol test.

For more information on giving blood or organizing a corporate or community blood drive please call the center at (201) 251-3703.Information about the center can also be obtained by contacting the centerís website at