Established through a merger of the Blood Center of Northern Illinois and the American Red Cross Blood Services – Mid-America Region, LifeSource opened on Jan. 17, 1987. That first day, 474 lifesaving units were donated to LifeSource. Harold Sargent of Green Oaks was our very first blood donor and he continues to donate today.
In the beginning, LifeSource consisted of four processing centers, which collected blood at the donor centers, tested and processed the donated blood into components and distributed components to hospitals for transfusion. Administrative headquarters were located on North Milwaukee Avenue. Not long after, LifeSource grew out of its additional location at 43 East Ohio Street and moved to a more spacious place at the Michael Reese Hospital campus in May, 1988.
With increasing growth in the services for the Chicagoland patients, LifeSource moved its operations to Glenview in 1992. All processing, testing and distribution were consolidated at the new site.
In 1996, LifeSource became affiliated with The Institute for Transfusion MedicineSM (ITxMSM) and became a member of one of the largest systems that provides for blood transfusion needs of patients in the Chicagoland and Pittsburgh areas.
In 1998, the Chicago operation of the United Blood Services merged with LifeSource. This enhanced the transfusion services to the patients and increased the convenience to donors by providing additional locations for blood donation.
LifeSource (along with the headquarters of all Chicago-based ITxM operations) moved to its current location in Rosemont, Illinois in January, 2011. The building is a state-of-the-art, LEED-certified facility that enables LifeSource to better serve the Chicago community.
In 2017, the parent organization of LifeSource, ITxM, merged with Blood Systems—one of the oldest and largest non-profit community blood service providers in the country. LifeSource is now part of Blood Systems’ Northeast Division. The Northeast Division, headquartered in Pittsburgh where Central Blood Bank is located, is also made up of LifeShare Community Blood Services in northern Ohio and Virginia Blood Services.
Operating in a highly regulated environment, LifeSource is a licensed blood collection establishment by the Food and Drug Administration. We are accredited by AABB and licensed by the State of Illinois. As such, compliance with regulations and national standards requires process control in all aspects of manufacturing.
Our total quality management philosophy emphasizes a commitment to exceed the expectations of our volunteer blood donors and hospital partners. Our aim is to be the highest-value provider of quality transfusion-related products and services available.