New nonprofit serving more than 400 patients after just one month

MOLINE, Illinois  --  Heart & Hands Home Draw was created after LabCorp bought Metro-Lab in Moline in January. LabCorp didn't pick up the at-home blood draw service that patients had been counting on for more than 30 years. LabCorp took over all six of Metro Lab's locations. Now, after one month in business, organizers say they are doing more than they thought they would.

"We get orders constantly," Heart & Hands Home Draw founder Carla Downing said. "At least one or two people every day say they are so glad we are doing this and thank you so much. That's what makes it worth it."

Carla modeled Heart & Hands after the Metro Lab extended care services, making it easier to get off the ground. The business has been operating for five weeks with 5 phlebotomist and more than 400 patients.

"A lot of our patients can't get out of the house," Heart & Hands Home Draw phlebotomist Jen Hansen said. "It's not even about time. This takes way longer for us than if the patients were to go to a lab. It's about helping people who need help."

Phlebotomist for the nonprofit will see twenty homebound patients a day.

"It makes me really nervous to be around a lot of people," patient Sherry Olroyd said. "It makes it easier with them coming here."

Downing said without the home draw services, she fears patients would stop seeking medical care.

"It's kind of a scary thought," Downing said. "What are those people going to do, just not go to the doctor?"

Metro Lab gifted Heart & Hands it's at home blood draw kits and office supplies. LabCorp supplies medical equipment because Heart & Hands drops the blood off at LabCorp.

Downing says she is hoping to expand Heart & Hands services and fully cover all of Metro Lab's old patients.

The nonprofit is accepting donations. The website can be found here.

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