Marcus Foundation makes an additional gift towards completion of new National Blood & Logistics Centre. This latest donation from Bernie & Billi Marcus was made to inspire other donor to match their commitment and complete the funding for the $130 million project for Magen David Adom, Israel’s only national emergency medical and blood-services organisation.

The Marcus Foundation has announced that it will make a $10 million matching grant to ensure the completion of Israel’s new national blood services centre, 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 coming spring. The facility was designated as the Marcus National Blood Services Centre, based on a previous $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, 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 and MDA UK hope to quickly raise the remaining funds to match the grant and enable the completion of the project.

“Israel needs a larger blood facility to meet the requirements of a country that now has a population more than twice what it was when the current facility was built in Ramat Gan in the mid ’80s,” said Daniel Burger, MDA UK Chief Executive.

“But more than that, the facility now needs to be reinforced against missile, chemical, and biological attack given the importance of blood transfusions to the health of the nation and the increased military capabilities of Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas,” he said.

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 haematologists, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, and other blood-centre employees to continue working, even when rockets are being launched at the country from Gaza or elsewhere.

In the meantime, Magen David Adom is continuing to use its current blood-services facility, which isn’t protected. When Israel is targeted by a missile or rocket attack, blood centre staff must quickly move blood-processing operations and heavy equipment down to a cramped bomb shelter in the basement of the building.

“This interrupts blood processing at a time when having an ample blood supply is most crucial, when Israelis are under attack,” said Prof. Eilat Shinar, deputy director-general and director of Blood Services for Magen David Adom.

“Completing this facility on time this spring will ensure we have the capacity to collect and process enough blood for Israel’s future needs,” Prof. Shinar said. 

“It will enable us to introduce cutting-edge technologies to improve both the quality and safety of blood units and components, and provide them to all those who need them — to save their lives. It will also ensure that our supply is secured, no matter what challenges befall the country, whether it’s a war or a natural disaster, like the earthquake we know will eventually strike Israel given its location near two geologic faults.

“There are few things more important to Israel’s future than seeing this project to fruition,” she said. “Blood is life.”

Donors wishing to support the campaign will have their donations doubled when they give online here or by calling MDA UK on 020 8201 5900.

Daniel Burger, commented, “The generosity of the Marcus Foundation is extraordinary and their gift will allow our supporters to have a huge impact on this landmark Magen David Adom project – helping our colleagues in Israel to save more lives.”