Kentucky Blood Center Celebrates 55 Years of Saving Lives May 18, 2023

Started in 1968, organization has expanded to serve 70-plus Kentucky hospitals

Kentucky Blood Center began in the basement of the Perkins Pancake House on Limestone Street.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Blood Center will celebrate its 55th anniversary of lifesaving work on Sunday, May 21. The organization, which was originally housed in the basement of the Pancake House on South Limestone Street to provide a stable blood supply for six Lexington hospitals, has expanded today to provide life-saving blood to more than 70 hospitals throughout the Commonwealth.

KBC, founded by the Fayette County Medical Society in 1968 to centralize the area’s blood-banking efforts, now operates eight donor centers (listed below) in Lexington, Louisville, Pikeville, Somerset, Frankfort and Corbin. The nonprofit also provides more than 2,000 mobile donation opportunities throughout the service area annually, relying on area schools, universities, businesses and churches to partner to collect blood in the communities where KBC provides blood to save local lives.

“As KBC’s operations have grown, so too has the need for blood,” said Bill Reed, KBC’s president and CEO. “We need 400 donors daily to provide a healthy blood supply to our hospitals. In honor of 55 years of service, I want to challenge our community to step up and ensure that we can continue to do what we’ve done for nearly six decades: save Kentucky lives.”

The celebration of 55 years of lifesaving work comes on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequent blood shortages from complications of COVID have challenged KBC and blood banks across the country to meet the daily demand for blood. At the converging of KBC’s 55th anniversary and the national end to the pandemic, KBC is encouraging donors to give blood and meet the need of local patients. One whole blood donation with KBC can save up to three lives, and donations typically take 45 minutes or less from registration to refreshment.

Donors can schedule an appointment at or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are accepted as space allows.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.