Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin
Press Release

Versiti and Journey House to Host ‘Health & Huddle’ Event with Football Hall of Famer Gilbert Brown

Families will huddle up to learn about healthy living and blood/organ donation on Oct. 18

By - Oct 15th, 2019 10:53 am

Milwaukee, Wis. ─ October 15, 2019 ─ Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, has teamed up with community service organization Journey House to host a ‘Health & Huddle’ event on Friday, Oct. 18 from 6-8 p.m. The private event will be held at Journey House Packers Football Field (2200 W Pierce St, Milwaukee) and will feature a special appearance from football great Gilbert Brown.

The Health & Huddle focuses on educating children and families about healthy living as well as the importance of ethnic diversity in blood and organ donation. For example, people with sickle cell disease have a reduced risk of developing antibodies or having complications when the donated blood they need to survive comes from those of the same ethnic background.

“It’s invaluable to have a caring community partner like Versiti to help educate our families,” said Cherise Myers, director of community partnerships for Journey House. “The Health & Huddle event provides an opportunity to offer unique resources that help to advance our mission of engaging and strengthening families.”

Brown, affectionately known to some as “The Gravedigger,” and the following speakers will share how sickle cell disease and ethnically diverse donors can impact lives:

  • Lance Davis, ESPN Milwaukee broadcaster and Health & Huddle emcee
  • Aaliyah Milledge, Milwaukee resident who received a life-saving double lung transplant
  • Panel discussion with Versiti staff and other medical experts

“Currently, the number of African American and Hispanic patients in need of organ or blood donations outweighs the number of diverse donors, said Malayia Roper, Versiti’s diversity outreach and partnership programs specialist “We hope to change that through community outreach events like Health & Huddle with Journey House.”

Versiti and Journey House anticipate approximately100 attendees—both parents and children from nearby neighborhoods that are predominately African American and Hispanic. Versiti also will provide a variety of resources and programs for families and students to get involved. This includes information on blood types, the donation process, how to host a blood drive, and student leadership programs like Junior Lifesavers and Student Organ Donation Advocates (SODA).

About Versiti

Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our healthcare partners nationally. We provide innovative, value added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our customers. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit

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