Until 1968, each local hospital collected its own blood donations. It was common for blood transfusions to be donated by patients’ family and friends or even from the hospital’s own staff. In some cases, family members were required to recruit donors before their loved ones could have surgery.
A group of concerned Lexington doctors decided in 1968 that blood should be collected, tested and distributed from a central location to make sure every hospital had equal access to an ample supply of blood from volunteer donors.
With underwriting from the Fayette County Medical Society (now the Lexington Medical Society), Central Kentucky Blood Center (CKBC) was born. The first CKBC donor was UK Football Coach John Ray, who gave blood when the center was located in the basement of the Perkins Pancake House on Limestone St. in Lexington. From the late 70’s to 2007, CKBC made its headquarters in the former Fayette County Health Department building on Waller Avenue.
In March 2007, CKBC changed its name to Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) and moved to its new headquarters in Lexington’s Beaumont Centre and closed the Waller Avenue site. KBC donor centers are located in Lexington at the Beaumont Centre headquarters and in the Andover Shops on Maple Leaf Drive. Donor Centers are also located in Louisville, Somerset, and Pikeville. Mobile blood drives are also held daily throughout the state.
KBC is governed by a 20-person board. The president and president elect of the Lexington Medical Society serve on the board.
Find out more about KBC, scheduling blood donation, or organizing a blood drive by contacting us today.