Quincy Judson relaxes as he donates blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s new permanent Juneau office in the Jordan Creek Center on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. A Grand Opening with be held Thursday, Jan. 17. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Quincy Judson relaxes as he donates blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s new permanent Juneau office in the Jordan Creek Center on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. A Grand Opening with be held Thursday, Jan. 17. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Blood Bank of Alaska opens permanent Juneau location

Nonprofit previously only held mobile drives here

You’ve got blood, and Juneau’s got a new place to donate it.

The Blood Bank of Alaska opened a permanent center in Juneau. While the grand opening of the new Jordan Creek Mall facility is scheduled for Jan. 17, they’ve been operating since Monday.

“We’ve been coming to Juneau for years and doing mobile drives,” said Chris Mello, BBA board chair. “The Juneau community is really good. Every donor is special, but Juneau … we have about 2,000 registered donors here. And people are really enthusiastic. A very large percentage of the population are eager to be donors.”

Right now, the center has two operational beds for donors, one manager and two phlebotomists (people who draw blood) in from Anchorage. They are looking to hire two local phlebotomists. Since opening their doors Monday, they’ve had about 25 people donate blood, Manager Joann Flora said. But she isn’t sure how many people will come for the grand opening next week.

“It’s been interesting how many walk-ins we’ve had already,” Flora said. Even without the publicity, because some people were prior donors they just showed up and asked to donate. Sen.-elect Jesse Kiehl was one such donor among the first in the door, he said at an Assembly meeting on Monday.

On Thursday, Quincy Judson, born-and-bred Juneauite was sitting in the chair donating. He’s been donating blood for 12 years, and said he probably donates about once a year or once every couple years.

“I don’t know that I like doing it,” he said, laughing. “I don’t really know why I do it, actually. They ask me if I will, and I do. And I hope that they’re doing something responsible with my blood,” he said.

Flora said she thinks that’s pretty good for someone who’s only lived in an area with mobile drives.

“Blood saves lives,” she said. “And I think that’s always in the back of people’s heads.”

BBA has been operating mobile blood drives in Juneau two to three times a year, but this is the first permanent facility in Southeast Alaska. The state has supported BBA since the 1980s financially. The nonprofit has received $33 million in funding from state through 2015. However, they still have about $5 million in debt they need to pay off.

“(The state) realized that we needed to prepare for something large,” said CEO Robert Scanlon. “We needed to be prepared to facilitate blood availability in the event of something like (the earthquake) that just happened in Anchorage.”

Currently none of the blood from the BBA is used in Juneau, Scanlon said. Bartlett Regional Hospital receives blood from the Lower 48. But, BBA supplies blood to 21 different hospitals throughout Alaska and to the military. Medical centers in bush Alaska always receive Type O negative blood, the universal donor, to guarantee that all residents can receive care, he said.

Right now, the Juneau center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Flora said they are considering a Tuesday-Saturday schedule in the future to better cater to donors who work regular business hours.

“It’s been a goal of the organization to open a center in Juneau for a long time,” she said. “It’s exciting, and it’s about time.”

The BBA is located in suite 236 of the Jordan Creek Mall at 3800 Glacier Hwy.


• Contact reporter Mollie Barnes at mbarnes@juneauempire.com or 523-2228.


Chris Mello, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Blood Bank of Alaska, left, and Robert Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer, speak during an interview at the Juneau Empire on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, about the opening of a permanent location to donate blood in Juneau. The new location is in the Jordan Creek Center. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Chris Mello, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Blood Bank of Alaska, left, and Robert Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer, speak during an interview at the Juneau Empire on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, about the opening of a permanent location to donate blood in Juneau. The new location is in the Jordan Creek Center. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora Forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Feb. 5

Chunks of ice break off the Perito Moreno Glacier, in Lake Argentina, at Los Glaciares National Park, near El Calafate, in Argentina's Patagonia region, March 10, 2016. As glaciers melt and pour massive amounts of water into nearby lakes, 15 million people across the globe live under the threat of a sudden and deadly outburst flood, a new study finds. (AP Photo / Francisco Munoz)
Study: 15 million people live under threat of glacial floods

More than half of those are in just four countries: India, Pakistan, Peru and China.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File 
A porcupine dines in mid-August near the Mendnehall Glacier.
On the Trails: Putting a finer point on porcupines

Plants such as roses and devil’s club aren’t the only prickly ones…

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan addresses a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature in the House chambers on Tuesday. The Republican senator, appearing on the same day as Democratic President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech (and thus absent from it), criticized the administration on issues ranging from drugs to opposing resource development in Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sullivan applauds, denounces feds in speech to Legislature

Senator praises ferry funds and monitoring of China’s balloon, fears Biden limiting oil project.

Members of the Juneau Police Department pose for a group photo during the annual JPD awards ceremony on Monday. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
JPD honors officers in annual award ceremony

The late Chief Pat Wellington presented with legislative memoriam.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire 
Edward Richards, left, a high school student in the Sitka School District, talks about the lack of mental health services in Alaska’s public schools as part of the testimony also offered by district Superintendent Frank Hauser, center, and student Felix Myers during a Senate Education Meeting on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. The committee is proposing a 17% increase in the state’s school funding formula, which was remained essentially flat since 2017.
School’s in at the Capitol

Students and education leaders from around state make case for more classroom cash.

Folks at the Alaska State Capitol openly admit to plenty of fish tales, but to a large degree in ways intended to benefit residents and sometimes even the fish. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The bizarre bills other state legislatures are considering

Alaska’s Legislature isn’t mulling the headline-grabbers some statehouses have in the works.

Most Read