During World War II when Americans were supporting the war effort at home, they realized the lifesaving importance of blood transfusions. For many communities, it created a new social responsibility to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply.
At that time the blood banks nearest to Denver were in Dallas and Kansas City. Dr. Osgoode Philpott and philanthropist Helen G. Bonfils recognized the need for a local community blood bank. In 1943, with a diverse group of community-minded people they founded Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank, named after Helen’s beloved mother.
In 1971, the organization changed its name to Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Center to better reflect its expanding services including research.
Today, Bonfils Blood Center’s nearly 400 employees continue to make a difference in our community. With eight community donor centers and up to 10 mobile blood drives each day, Bonfils serves patients at approximately 100 healthcare facilities in Colorado and beyond. Bonfils also offers a variety of services to better meet the needs of the community, including blood donation, marrow donation, corporate and community partnership opportunities and more.
In 2017 Bonfils merged with Blood Systems, one of the nation’s oldest and largest transfusion medicine organizations – and a fellow nonprofit. Headquartered in Denver, Blood Systems’ Mountain Division consists of Bonfils Blood Center operations in Colorado and United Blood Services (UBS) operations throughout Wyoming, western Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota. Together, Bonfils and UBS need to collect approximately 3,500 blood donations each week to support patients at nearly 140 hospitals and healthcare facilities.
The division includes 11 donor centers and operates an average of 250 blood drives monthly. Blood Systems, one of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers, serves more than 800 hospitals across 24 states to provide comprehensive transfusion medicine services for patients in need.
This merge will further our mission to save and enhance lives – and ensure our commitment and presence in Colorado for many decades to come. We are growing and thriving, and that is in large part due to the loyal support we have received from the Colorado community over the past seven decades.
Together, Bonfils Blood Center and Blood Systems will continue to make a difference in our community by producing a safe and stable blood supply, inspiring individuals to donate blood and advancing lifesaving research.