About Houchin

The name says it all: Houchin Community Blood Bank.

Houchin Community Blood Bank is a non-profit organization committed to being the sole provider of a “safe and adequate blood supply” from “volunteer blood donors” for the purpose of saving the lives of the residents of Kern County.

Dedicated to serving the needs of the community, this nonprofit service has been serving Kern County since 1951. We are committed to being the sole provider of a safe and adequate blood supply for the hospitals we serve. The supply available is dependent on volunteer donors who walk-in to our two donor centers or participate in mobile drives in communities, or at companies and organizations across the county. Today we employ about 100 employees in two locations.

It’s a big job, but someone has to do it. We supply all the blood products needed for Kern County hospitals, private cancer and blood disease treatment facilities, and other medical centers which transfuse blood, platelets and plasma to patients.

A collaboration of local physicians and interested people responding to community demands led to a meeting inside the offices of Doctors Coker, Crawley and Varney, which was the beginning of the non-profit community blood bank. Due to the lack of blood supply in Kern County, blood was coming from Los Angeles and San Francisco, but such deliveries could not meet urgent needs. At that time Kern General Hospital, now known as Kern Medical Center, was the only facility equipped to draw and test blood.

C Elmer Houchin

C Elmer Houchin

In 1951, members of the Kern Medical Society called a meeting with C. Elmer Houchin, also a member of the group, to discuss a permanent location for a future community blood bank. He donated a location on G Street in downtown Bakersfield in memory of his mother, Sarah Alice Houchin. Additional donations and endowment funds allowed the blood bank to open its doors there in April 1952.