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CONTACT: TOM MOORE
Joint Office for Planning, Marketing and Communications
8788 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-3945
e-mail: thomas-moore@uiowa.edu

Release: March 14, 2002  

MEDIA ADVISORY:  DEGOWIN BLOOD CENTER TO HOLD OPEN HOUSE

Media representatives are invited to tour the DeGowin Blood Center in C250 GH from 1 to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26. To locate the center, take elevator B to the second floor and turn west. Ronald Strauss, M.D., medical director of the center, Judy Levitt, section manager, and Mitch Overton, donor recruitment coordinator, will be available for interviews. For assistance in covering this event, call Tom Moore at (319) 356-3945.

The DeGowin Blood Center at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will hold an open house for University of Iowa Health Care faculty and staff members from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, in C250 GH.  

The center is comprised of four areas including the Blood Bank, the Blood Donor Center, Patient Care Services and the Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Lab (bone marrow transplant). Guests at the open house event will be able to tour all four areas. The event is not open to members of the public.  

The new DeGowin Blood Center is located closer to patient care units, and also reflects the changes that have occurred in the past two decades, including new technologies, increased service volume, and the development of new therapeutic procedures. For example, highly advanced technology will soon be available at the center. Five new TRIMA blood cell processors will allow multiple blood products to be collected at the same time.  

In 2001, the DeGowin Blood Center collected 7,469 units of blood and 3,434 units of apheresis platelets, and also conducted 114 blood donation drives in the community.  

The center was founded by the late Elmer DeGowin, M.D., an honored pioneer in banking, storing and transporting blood products. DeGowin joined the faculty of the UI College of Medicine in 1932, beginning a career that spanned more than 50 years. In 1938, DeGowin and his colleagues opened the first blood bank west of the Mississippi.  

Following in his father's footsteps, hematologist Richard DeGowin, M.D., continues to serve UI Health Care as an emeritus professor of internal medicine and radiology.  

Currently, about 80 staff members work in the DeGowin Blood Center, including nurses, physicians, phlebotomists and technicians. All of the blood products that are collected there are used to help care for patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics.  

For more information about the center, or to donate blood products, call (319) 356-2058.