MILWAUKEE – August 1, 2018 – BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW), part of the nonprofit organization Versiti, and RTI Donor Services, Inc. (RTIDS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing responsible stewardship of the gift of tissue donation, announced an expanded relationship to improve the tissue donation process and enhance patients’ lives. Beginning September 1, 2018, BCW will manage all aspects of tissue recovery services for Wisconsin hospitals in RTIDS’ service area and RTIDS will focus specifically on acquiring tissue for processing and distribution.
BCW will now serve more facilities, gain efficiencies and develop more programs and a deeper level of service benefiting hospitals, health systems and donor families. It will expand services to 60 additional institutions and offer organ and tissue donation services to a total of 145 hospitals and medical examiner offices in Wisconsin. BCW anticipates employing many of RTIDS’ professional team of specialists, growing its staff across Wisconsin to better serve its partners and donor families.
“Each year thousands of lives are saved and enhanced through tissue donation,” said Colleen McCarthy, Vice President of Organ and Tissue Service, 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.”
RTIDS is affiliated with RTI Surgical (Nasdaq: RTIX), a global surgical implant company. Through this relationship, RTI is transforming its approach to tissue acquisition to align more directly with the needs of patients. RTIDS will transition from partially managing tissue recovery to wholly relying on its trusted organ procurement organization partners to recover transplantable tissue. For RTI, it also means greater focus on advancing current tissue processing technology and developing new products and implants.
“RTI is focusing on tissue, such as dermis and cartilage, used to develop unique allograft implants,” said Olivier Visa, President, RTIDS. “This requires us to be more intentional about what type of tissue and how much tissue is recovered and processed based on patient need, thus maximizing the gift of tissue donation to treat more patients.”
RTI has a proud history of tissue innovation and safety, and recently announced a significant global milestone of providing more than 8 million biologic implants processed through RTI’s proprietary sterilization processes with zero confirmed incidence of implant-associated infection. In 2017 alone, RTI distributed more than 600,000 biologic implants—helping surgeons serve patients in nearly 50 countries. RTI’s tissue-based implants are used in surgical procedures such as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, meniscus transplantation, fracture repair, rotator cuff repair, wound coverings, post-mastectomy breast reconstruction and abdominal wall repair for hernias.
Nationwide, life-enhancing tissue is generously donated by approximately 30,000 donors each year, and a single donor can help 75 or more people improve their lives.i For millions of Americans, tissue transplants have relieved their pain and returned their mobility.ii
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.
About RTI Donor Services
RTI Donor Services, Inc. (RTI Donor Services) is a nonprofit tissue acquisition agency working in collaboration with the donation community and healthcare facilities in perpetuating the gift of tissue donation. RTI Donor Services is accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks and affiliated with RTI Surgical, Inc. (RTI Surgical), a global surgical implant company providing surgeons with safe biologic, metal and synthetic implants. Both RTI Donor Services and RTI Surgical are focused on improving the lives of others by maximizing the gift of tissue donation and providing safe tissue implants for recipients.
Fay Spano, BCW
+1 414 937 6124
Andrea Johnson, RTIDS
+1 630 518 5345
i Donate Life America: National Donate Life Month – April 2018 Donation and Transplantation Statistics. Online at https://www.donatelife.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2018-NDLM-Donation-and-Transplantation-Statistics-FINAL-12.17-FINAL-public.pdf. Last accessed July 26, 2018.
ii Data on file at RTI Donor Services, Inc.