BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the new home of Wisconsin Donor Network and Wisconsin Tissue Bank, making it the first and only organization in the United States to specialize in all four types of donation: blood, marrow, tissue and organs.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin has also advanced into clinical research and treatments through its newly established Medical Sciences Institute. The Medical Sciences Institute will conduct clinical research in hematology, sickle cell anemia and bleeding and clotting disorders. Eventually, it will conduct clinical trials with patients in these areas.
A public event to announce BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s new services and areas of clinical research was held on Apr. 7.
The consolidation of Wisconsin Donor Network and Wisconsin Tissue Bank under BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s umbrella expands the Blood- Center’s scope from volunteer donation of blood, bone marrow and stem cells to organs and tissues.
“Our efforts to secure volunteer donations for lifesaving blood, marrow, tissue and organs are strengthened by the addition of these two services to the community. This growth at BloodCenter, not only in organ and tissue donation but in our expansion of clinical research, allows us to serve more patients in new ways,” said Jackie Fredrick, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, president and CEO.
The public event, titled “Collectively Greater”, illustrated the simple, yet powerful ways that gifts of organs, tissue, marrow and blood connect diverse families. Families who have forged an unusual bond through shared transplant experiences told their stories at the Apr. 7 event.
The program also included brief remarks from Jackie Fredrick, president and CEO of BloodCenter of Wisconsin, William Petasnick, president and CEO of Froedtert Hospital, Mary O’Brien, chief administrative officer of Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and Bevan Baker, city health commissioner and Wisconsin Donor Network advisory board member.
The Wisconsin Donor Network is the federally designated organ procurement organization, or OPO, for eastern Wisconsin. Previously operated by Froedtert Hospital, it serves 2.3 million people in a 12-county region, from Calumet, Door, Kenosha, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Outagamie, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties.
The Wisconsin Tissue Bank recovers bone, skin, veins, tendons, heart valves and other tissue for surgical use throughout Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Tissue Bank was previously operated by Aurora Health Care.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin also hosted the Milwaukee Team kickoff of the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games on Apr. 7.
The National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games will be held in Madison, Wis., from Jul. 30 to Aug. 4. The Games are expected to attract 7,500 donors, recipients and families from across the country. It will feature 12 Olympicstyle athletic competitions, opening and closing ceremonies, special events honoring donors and their families and a 5K run/walk.
The public event is part of BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s celebration of National Donate Life Month in April. National Donate Life Month recognizes the enormous generosity of families who save lives through their precious donations of organs, tissue, marrow and blood.