To provide a safe blood supply for the purpose of saving the lives of Kern County residents.
Due to the lack of blood supply in Kern County in 1951, blood was coming from Los Angeles and San Francisco, but such deliveries could not meet urgent needs. The Kern General Hospital, now known as Kern Medical Center, was the only facility equipped to draw and test blood. 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. Houchin has drawn Kern County residents together to provide and protect the community blood supply. By inspiring people to donate locally and to take pride in this precious shared resource, we’re making sure the community continues to have access to life-saving blood when they need it.