Versiti Increases Access to Life-Saving Plasma for Milwaukee Communities at Greatest Risk with Support from Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Foundation provides $100,000 grant aligned with COVID-19 relief and recovery priorities
Milwaukee, Wis. – With support from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Versiti is enhancing a key program aimed at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing access to COVID convalescent plasma in underserved Milwaukee communities. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has awarded Versiti’s Blood Research Institute Foundation a $100,000 grant to help support Versiti’s initiative to test all blood donations for SARS CoV-2 antibodies.
Identification of donors with SARS CoV-2 antibodies is an important part of the fight against COVID-19, as these donors are eligible for Versiti’s Convalescent Plasma Program in which donated plasma is used to treat patients fighting COVID-19, many of whom are from communities heavily impacted by coronavirus.
“As the fourth-largest independent supplier of blood products in the United States, Versiti serves a large and diverse population,” said Chris Miskel, Versiti president and CEO. “COVID-19 has impacted underserved communities at a disproportionate rate. Versiti’s Universal SARS CoV-2 antibody testing of blood donations is an important component to increasing access to life-saving treatments, and in turn, further supporting adversely affected communities.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities long-present in our community, and we must take action to reverse the toll this is taking on the health and well-being of our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers,” said Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation president and CEO. “Supporting Versiti’s Convalescent Plasma Program is one way the Foundation is collaborating on solutions with the potential to produce positive impact for communities of color and others disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”
The grant funds from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation will go toward additional testing equipment and labor costs associated with antibody testing in Versiti’s Convalescent Plasma Program.
When SARS CoV-2 antibodies are detected in a person’s blood, it indicates that the person has recovered from COVID-19, and the antibodies that helped the person fight off the initial infection can be collected in their convalescent (containing antibodies) plasma and used to help treat patients unable to fight the infection themselves.
Versiti began collecting convalescent plasma very early in the pandemic, recognizing its therapeutic potential. Versiti is working with partner hospitals to identify recovered COVID-19 patients. Potential donors can call 1-866-702-HOPE (866-702-4673) to donate or they can visit versiti.org/covid19plasma. Donors must have a documented positive lab test result for COVID-19 and be symptom-free for 14 days.
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 health care 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 health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org.
- MKE County: After Stabilizing, COVID-19 Could Be Rising - Graham Kilmer - Dec 4th, 2020
- WI Daily: Active Hospitalizations Lower Than They Were A Month Ago - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 4th, 2020
- DHS Announces New COVID-19 Guidance on Quarantine Duration - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Dec 4th, 2020
- Families Struggle With Child Care Amid School Closures, Virtual Learning - Madeline Fox - Dec 4th, 2020
- Local Leaders Call for Additional Federal COVID-19 Relief - Henry Redman - Dec 4th, 2020
- WI Daily: 4,618 New COVID-19 Cases - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 3rd, 2020
- Evers Announces $78 Million in COVID-19 Business Grants - Danielle Kaeding - Dec 3rd, 2020
- Federal and State Action Needed on COVID Relief for Wisconsin - State Sen. Jon Erpenbach - Dec 3rd, 2020
- Vos Pandemic Plan Sets Up Political Battle - Melanie Conklin and Erik Gunn - Dec 3rd, 2020
- Gov. Evers Announces $15 Million in Grants Distributed to Wisconsin’s Live Music and Entertainment Venues - Gov. Tony Evers - Dec 3rd, 2020
Read more about Coronavirus Pandemic here
Mentioned in This Press Release
Recent Press Releases by Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin
Versiti encourages the public to give the gift that’s free
Versiti Blood Centers Issues Urgent Plea to COVID Survivors to Donate COVID Convalescent Plasma (CCP)Nov 11th, 2020 by Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin
CCP supplies quickly dwindle as COVID cases soar to new levels
Virtual panel discussions with special guests to follow the three films