The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City will merge with the New York Blood Center, one of the largest independent community-based blood centers in the United States.
In a statement Monday, the Kansas City organization said the merger would provide a “greater breadth of services, efficiency and financial stability.”
Lisa Keller, spokesperson for the Community Blood Center, said plans for the partnership started to develop about three years ago. The merger was prompted, in part, by lower demand for donated blood.
“While transfusions still remain an essential part of medicine and donors are still needed, a growing body of research has found that many hospital patients stay healthier when they receive little or no transfusions,” she said.
“They face less risk of infection and different complications. So we find that the patient’s health is impacted less with less transfusions.”
Keller described the standard medical practice as moving toward “blood management” rather than large transfusions.
She said the partnership will have no noticeable effect on donors or volunteers in Kansas City. The center will retain its name and local operations.
The Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City was founded in 1958 and is one of the largest blood centers in the Midwest. It serves Kansas City, St. Joseph and Topeka.
The merger is expected to be completed in June. Jay Menitove, who has led the Community Blood Center for the last 17 years, will retire. Christopher Hillyer, president and CEO of the New York Blood Center, will also lead the Community Blood Center.