BioForward is reaching out to members to highlight their organizations through a new member profile feature to tell more of their stories. Versiti agreed to be interviewed as a part of our efforts to heighten the awareness of our region.
About your organization
Versiti is a leader in blood health innovation. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with blood centers in neighboring Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, Versiti works to enhance the health outcomes of patients by providing lifesaving blood products to those it serves. Its blood centers are venues that provide community members a safe place to donate lifesaving blood, but blood collection only tells part of the story.
Versiti is driven by science. Its Blood Research Institute brings together some of the top minds in blood health innovation to study and further evolve human knowledge of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases. Versiti’s Diagnostic Laboratories provide esoteric testing and expert consultation for physicians treating patients across the world in these same clinical areas. In addition, Versiti Clinical Trials, through our Cenetron and Salus teams located in Austin, Texas, provides critical support for medical innovators as we bring new medical solutions to patients in need.
These collective efforts result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide.
What do you find valuable about being a member of BioForward Wisconsin?
Versiti is made up of blood health innovators who are always curious to discover new ways to treat patients in their communities. Collaboration with others in the biohealth community as part of BioForward will only lead to more solutions while encouraging collective growth in the industry.
What are the key areas of or achievements by your organization that are impacting the state of Wisconsin and the overall bio-health industry?
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Versiti identified an effective method for treating patients battling the COVID-19 virus. Researchers found that plasma donated by individuals who had successfully recovered from the virus could be used to successfully treat patients who were hospitalized due to a severe case of COVID-19. The antibodies in the donated plasma helped the patients’ immune systems beat the virus at a higher success rate.
Versiti is also driven to provide health outcomes to people in all communities, including those that are often underserved. Sickle cell disease, for one, is a condition found at a high rate among African American and Hispanic communities, yet the blood type needed to serve patients suffering from the disease is rare. As an organization that mirrors the communities it serves, Versiti is committed and well-positioned to find lifesaving solutions for patients with various needs.
What about the future of research, medical, technological innovation excites you the most?
Putting research into practice.
It is unusual to have an organization that participates in the full continuum of basic research to application, and this is what makes Versiti so unique. Within the organization, there is the ability to translate fundamental research discoveries into lifesaving/extending solutions.
Why Wisconsin? What does Wisconsin (and/or Madison/Milwaukee) offer for your company and/or your/its families?
The collaborative and supportive nature of the Wisconsin Biohealth industry is essential. As member organizations, we work together to ensure collective success. We learn and grow together.
What is one thing others may not know about your organization?
While medical technology has provided many lifesaving discoveries over the years, there is still no substitute for donated blood. Every two seconds, someone needs lifesaving blood to survive, so everyone who is able is encouraged to donate. Blood donation often takes less than an hour, and one donation can save up to three lives. To sign up for an appointment to donate, visit Versiti.org.