Franciscan Health hosting blood drives to assist with critical shortage

Franciscan Health hosting blood drives to assist with critical shortage

DYER, Indiana – Michele Frankovich loves donating blood.

“It’s the only time you can lie down at work,” she said with a laugh.

Frankovich, end user support for Franciscan Alliance Information Services, has been with Franciscan for 33 years and has participated in blood drives at Franciscan Health Dyer for as long as she can remember.

Frankovich’s approach to blood donation aligns with the mission and values of the Franciscan Health ministry: respect for life, compassionate concern, joyful service, Christian stewardship and fidelity to the mission.

“I do it because I like to help others,” Frankovich said. “It’s the right thing to do. God created our precious bodies and if I can share some of it to make someone else better, I will. A lot of people just don’t like needles, but I think of the pain Jesus went through for us and I do it.”

Franciscan Health Dyer is hosting two blood drives this fall in partnership with Versiti Blood Center in an effort to boost supplies, which continue to be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our area is facing the worst blood shortage in more than a decade due to a drop in blood drives caused by the COVID pandemic,” Joanna Benignetti, manager of volunteer services for Franciscan Health Dyer said. “The decline has contributed to a 62% drop in drives held across the country. As a result, life-saving blood that is supplied to our hospitals may become a challenge.”

The blood drives will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm. Sept. 22 and Nov. 23 at the Franciscan Health Dyer Reginald Board Room (1A), 24 Joliet St. Participants should enter through the west entrance adjacent to the main hospital entrance.

Donors must bring photo identification and masks are required. Donors should also eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water before donating. Appointments are encouraged and can be scheduled by calling (219) 864-2037, emailing or online at Walk-ins are also welcome.

Check-in times can be reduced to less than 10 minutes for donors who pre-register and complete an online questionnaire using VersiPASS at Donors can review educational materials, complete the online questions and bring a printed confirmation to or show a mobile confirmation at their scheduled appointments.

Versiti Blood Center is the primary blood provider for Franciscan Health. Donations provide blood to 63 hospitals in Northwest Indiana and Illinois.

“A heartfelt thanks to all donors who continue to better patient outcomes in the communities we serve,” Benignetti said. “There is no substitute for the gift of blood donation. It is precious, perishable and the need for it is vital.”

Franciscan Health is hosting additional blood drives throughout the fall in partnership with Versiti Blood Center at other Franciscan hospital and fitness center locations. The blood drives will take place at Franciscan Health Michigan City from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, Franciscan Health Crown Point from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 13 and Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Chesterton from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 28.

Registration and additional details are available online at