In 1974, hospitals were in critical need of volunteer blood donors after the FDA curtailed the practice of paying donors for blood donations. Gainesville, Fla. hospitals (Alachua General Hospital, UF Health Shands Hospital and North Florida Regional Medical Center) all agreed that a non-profit community blood center was the answer and made an appeal to all local civic organizations. The Gainesville Civitan Club was the only organization that agreed to take on this task. Members backed a loan with their own money to start what they called Civitan Regional Blood Center – today known as LifeSouth Community Blood Centers.
For the past 40 years, LifeSouth has grown at the request of hospitals in need of a community blood supplier. LifeSouth now has 30 donor centers, 40 bloodmobiles, hosts 2,000 blood drives a month and is a proud partner of more than 100 hospitals in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
Today, LifeSouth has close to 800 employees and operates as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization overseeing an annual budget of nearly $80 million. With 4.4 million blood donations and counting, LifeSouth is privileged to celebrate our community partners, donors and patients.
We offer our deepest thanks to the Gainesville Civitan Club for taking that risk many years ago and investing in the health of our community by creating this lifesaving organization. LifeSouth is dedicated to providing quality blood components and state-of-the-art services to better serve our communities.