The Marcus Foundation will make a $10 million matching grant to ensure the completion of Israel’s new national blood services center, a first-of-its-kind shielded blood facility that will protect Israel’s strategic blood reserves against missile, chemical, and biological attack.
The building, under construction in Ramla, Israel, is now set for completion this spring. The facility was designated as the Marcus National Blood Services Center, based on a $25 million gift from the Marcus Foundation in 2016, prior to the project breaking ground.
The facility will be operated by Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency medical service. While MDA is best known for operating Israel’s ambulances and deploying the country’s paramedics and EMTs, it also oversees the collection, safety-testing, and distribution of Israel’s blood supply for use by hospitals and the Israel Defense Forces.
With this latest gift from the Marcus Foundation, American Friends of Magen David Adom, MDA’s U.S.-based fundraising affiliate, hopes to quickly raise the remaining funds to match the grant and enable the completion of the $130 million project.
The six-story facility will have its three lower floors underground in successively more shielded levels to protect the blood supply and enable Magen David Adom’s hematologists, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, and other blood-center employees to continue working, even if rockets are being launched at the country.
Currently, Magen David Adom is utilizing its existing blood-services facility, which is not protected. When Israel is targeted by a missile or rocket attack, blood center staff must quickly move blood-processing operations and heavy equipment down to a cramped bomb shelter in the basement of the building.