HCA Healthcare
March 22, 2019

SOURCE: Asheville Citizen Times

Mission Hospital gets its blood supply from The Blood Connection. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Today’s batch of burning questions, my smart-aleck answers and the real deal:

Question: I believe Mission Hospital uses Blood Connection to get the blood and blood products they need, not the American Red Cross. I’m not sure the public knows if this is true. It matters as to where we donate blood!

My answer: I'm not going to lie: I can easily be enticed to give blood when Blood Connection offers a $20 gift card to Hillman Brewing. Have you had the Pig Missile at that place? Well worth getting drained a pint! ... and replacing it with a pint of another kind.    

Real answer: "Mission Health partnered with the Blood Connection in 2014 based upon blood product availability, service and pricing," Mission spokeswoman Nancy Lindell said. "We have had an outstanding relationship with The Blood Connection."

More: Answer Man: The giant, comprehensive blood supply followup

As you can imagine, Mission Hospital, the largest hospital in the mountains, uses a lot of blood.

The main visitor entrance to Mission Hospital. (Photo: Angeli Wright)

"Mission Hospital transfuses approximately 25,000 units of blood and blood products annually," Lindell said, noting that includes red cells, platelets, plasma and cryoprecipitate (which an online dictionary defines as "an extract rich in a blood-clotting factor obtained as a residue when frozen blood plasma is thawed"). "The highest utilization is trauma, oncology and surgery."

And yes, this supply is dependent on good folks like the reader who donate blood.

More: Answer Man: Are some Mission Hospital employees unvaccinated?

"Mission Health, and The Blood Connection, rely solely on volunteer donors who generously donate for our patients and community," Lindell said. "Blood collected locally by The Blood Connection stays local, and is used by those in our community in times of need."

The triage room in the emergency department of Mission Hospital.  (Photo: Angeli Wright)

Question: Have you noticed that WLOS is running advertiser logos throughout their news broadcasts? I was stunned last night when I began watching a recording of the 11:00pm broadcast and noticed a Culligan Water logo in the lower right of the screen. It was, in effect, a 30-minute TV commercial! I hoped it was an aberration, and that the uber-capitalist ad guy whose idea this was would be shown the door, but there was another logo throughout the noon newscast today. What will they try next — advertisers' patches on the newsreaders' clothes? Promoted products sitting on the news desk?

My answer: I absolutely would wear a Hillman Brewing Pig Missile costume for promotional consideration.

Real answer: First of all, let me acknowledge that the Citizen Times runs a lot of ads on our news pages, so I don't want to come off all high and mighty here. The bottom line is, well, the bottom line — all news organizations need the revenue these days.

That said, I sent this question to WLOS-News 13 General Manager Joe Fishleigh.

"Your reader is referring to our news ticker, which is a crawl that appears at the bottom of the screen and contains brief headlines, and where we will display a sponsor logo," Fishleigh said. "This is a very common practice. In fact, I am not aware of a local TV station that does news that does not offer logo sponsorships to their news, weather and sports tickers and crawls."

More: Answer Man: Former WLOS weatherman Bob Caldwell bagging groceries at Ingles?

WLOS has been doing this for at least the last nine years.

"There is no connection between the content of the newscast and the sponsor logo that appears in the crawl," Fishleigh said. "I assure you and this reader that advertiser patches for our anchors are not in the works."

This is the opinion of John Boyle. Contact him at (828) 232-5847 or email