American Association of Blood Banks' Annual Meeting

What do blood, Philadelphia and PEPFAR all have in common?  A quaint little event with thousands of experts in worldwide blood transfusion, that is.

 Gillian Henker, Sisu’s CTO, spent a busy Saturday exploring the American Association of Blood Banks’ Annual Meeting. She was able to make connections to a variety of big players in the medical blood space including our new advisors, Jim Reilly, head of the AABB’s Global Strategy and who partners with16 different African blood systems and PEPFAR, and Dr. Jon Waters, a leading expert in autologus blood transfusion from the University of Pittsburgh. 

The entire conference had a huge international influence from Kyrgyzstan to Uganda. Experts from Kyrgyzstan and other countries in central Asia also listed blood transfusion and banking issues that Sisu Global Health had seen in Ghana.

Gillian also made key connections with the African Society for Blood Transfusion including a Ghana coalition and Ugandan head, Dr. Isaac Kajja. Her favorite session was on trauma in developing countries with Dr. Amina Merchant of Vanderbilt University, Dr. Isaac Kajja an orthopedic surgeon of Makerere University, Dr. Kaushik Mukherjee of Vanderbilt University talking about the general state of trauma in developing countries as a major health learning. Trauma frequently involves blood transfusions and their effective treatment is often determined by the quality of blood systems. 

From right to left: Mark Popovsky, Chief Medical Officer of Haemonetics; Inna Jurkevich, Senior program officer of the American International Health Alliance; Jed Gorlin, the Medical Director of Memorial Blood Centers; and Charles Munk, the IT consultant for AABB. Photo credit to Pat from the Red Cross. 

From right to left: Mark Popovsky, Chief Medical Officer of Haemonetics; Inna Jurkevich, Senior program officer of the American International Health Alliance; Jed Gorlin, the Medical Director of Memorial Blood Centers; and Charles Munk, the IT consultant for AABB. Photo credit to Pat from the Red Cross. 

At the Exhibit Expo, John G. Rivera of Medtronic delivered an entire history of the blood transfusion and autotransfusion industry. Gillian also ran into Heamonetics’ Chief Medical Officer, Mark Papavsky. They were able to reconnect with after touring the Heamonetics factory years ago and discuss the Hemafuse’s current progress. 

The Annual Meeting was October 25th through the 28th. You can find more information on AABB, their Annual Meeting and their initiatives here.