© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Community Blood Center To Merge With New York Blood Center

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.  

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.