Rebranding Brings Blood Center Into Larger Network

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INDIANAPOLIS -

After more than six decades, the Indiana Blood Center has received a new name and is part of a larger Midwest network. Now known as Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, the nonprofit says it will continue to serve the community as it always have. Chris Miskel, chief executive officer of Versiti, says the Indiana chapter will also feed into the organization's larger blood research efforts.

In an interview with Business of Health Reporter Kylie Veleta, Miskel said being part of a larger network will help patients with rare or uncommon needs.

"Imagine a patient that has sickle cell disease and has a very particular need and, in some cases, they may have antigens to blood types that you would otherwise think would be a match," said Miskel. "Versiti has invested in genotyping across our five states and so when our donors come in, we genotype them and we have a database that makes it more likely that we can find a need for a very specialized patient that may be suffering from a particular disease."

In addition to collecting blood donations, Miskel says Versiti is heavily involved in science and medicine, with the organization being the number one funded blood research institution in the country. He says Versiti has about 30 National Institutes of Health-funded investigators researching all things blood.

Versiti Blood Center of Indiana says it will continue to Hoosier patients and the 50 hospitals throughout the state that it supplies blood to. Miskel says there is always a need for blood donations.

"The need is constant. Tragedies tend to bring people out to collect but the blood on the shelves is what ultimately saves lives every day. In Indiana, we need to collect over 500 units a day to provide for the hospitals that we serve. Our donor base has been very loyal but has aged somewhat and so we're always looking for new and creative ways to bring young donors in the 20s, 30s and 40s into our mission."

You can watch the full interview with Miskel in the video above.

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