BloodCenter of Wisconsin will assume tissue recovery services at 60 facilities across Wisconsin as a Florida-based nonprofit tissue recovery organization plans to exit the market.
The Milwaukee-based organization, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, will take on tissue recovery services at the hospitals and medical examiner offices on Sept. 1, when Alachua, Florida-based RTI Donor Services ceases those services.
BCW will retain 14 employees who are currently with RTI Donor Services, according to BCW spokeswoman Fay Spano. In total, BCW will provide organ and tissue donation services to 145 hospitals and medical examiner offices in Wisconsin.
Tissue donation involves the removal of body tissues, including skin, blood vessels and bone, which are used in transplant procedures. Under the arrangement, BCW will provide family education and tissue recovery services, while UW will provide support to hospital staff and community awareness services.
“Each year thousands of lives are saved and enhanced through tissue donation,” said Colleen McCarthy, vice president of organ and tissue service for BCW. “Through the skills and care of BCW staff, and the talented staff we are welcoming from RTIDS, we are able to advance our mission to serve more donor families, more hospital and medical examiner partners and patients awaiting a second chance at life.”
RTI Donor Services said the move will allow the organization to focus on its area of expertise, acquiring tissue for processing and distribution.
“RTIDS will transition from partially managing tissue recovery to wholly relying on its trusted organ procurement organization partners to recover transplantable tissue,” the organization said. “For RTI, it also means greater focus on advancing current tissue processing technology and developing new products and implants.”