Coffee Memorial Blood Center: A History of Compassion and Dedication

Through my work here at Incept, I’ve had the opportunity to learn about some of the donor centers that make a difference in their communities. One of my favorites is Coffee Memorial Blood Centerof Amarillo, Texas.

On December 23, 1949, Coffee Memorial Blood Center got its start. They drew their first unit of blood on February 8, 1950. At the time, they were named the Potter County Memorial Blood Center, and the first permanent blood center site was a building donated by the Golding-Meadows Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It wasn’t long before this remarkable blood center outgrew its first home and relocated to a new building, opening for donations on June 15, 1960.

Five years later, the Potter County Memorial Blood Center expanded its services, helping supply not just Randall County, but also the rest of the Texas Panhandle with much-needed blood products. In honor of Dr. James Robert Coffee and his parents, who were instrumental in the establishment of the blood center, the Potter County Memorial Blood Center became known as Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

The current home of Coffee Memorial Blood Center at 500 Wallace Boulevard, Amarillo, Texas.

The current home of Coffee Memorial Blood Center at 500 Wallace Boulevard, Amarillo, Texas.

As the need for blood transfusions and blood donors increased, Coffee Memorial Blood Center continued to strive for excellence, once again expanding to meet the needs of the community. On May 17, 1984, they began construction on their Coulter Drive site, which had been donated by the Amarillo Area Foundation. The first blood donation given at the new site was donated on February 4, 1985, by Jim Doche, the primary architect of the project.

Even after renovations and expansions in 1994, Coffee Memorial Blood Center was soon bursting at the seams with donors and staff. They moved to their current facility in January of 2007. This beautiful location off of I-40 is home to over 100 employees and draws more than 30,000 units of blood each year. These blood donations have the potential to save the lives of over more than half-a-million local patients.

Coffee Memorial Blood Center has had a rich history of dedication to their community from the very beginning. Since 1949, they’ve excelled in caring for their donors and ensuring that their local hospitals receive the blood they need. There are blood donors and patients out there who have been wowed by the compassion shown by this amazing blood center. And as long as there is a need for life-saving blood products in their area, Coffee Memorial Blood Center will continue working hard to save lives.