Community Blood Services

Announces Merger



The Board of Trustees of Community Blood Services announces the merger of the blood center and The HLA Registry Foundation.

As a Division of Community Blood Services, The HLA Registry Foundation will work closely with the blood center in the recruitment of both blood donors and bone marrow donors to help people battling life-threatening illnesses.

Founded in 1954, Community Blood Services is located at 970 Linwood Avenue West. It provides blood and blood products to 32 hospitals in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris and Passaic counties in New Jersey, as well as to hospitals in New York City and Orange and Rockland counties in New York.

According to Dr. Dennis Todd, president and CEO of Community Blood Services, there are clear benefits to the merger. "The existing information and technology and finance infrastructure of the blood center will be an immense benefit to The HLA Registry Foundation operation," said Dr. Todd

Headquartered in River Edge, NJ, with a satellite office in Windham, NH, The HLA Registry Foundation is one of the world's leading independent bone marrow donor registries. It is also one of the largest donor registries of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), a network of 100 donor centers throughout the United States that is sanctioned by Congress.

"We have been working very closely with this fine institution for years and we feel it is in the registry's best interest to consolidate our operation with that of Community Blood Services," said Dr. Elie Katz, the founder and president of the HLA Registry Foundation. "Our goals are similar: to serve our communities and to save lives. We feel confident that this association will be beneficial to both parties and are looking forward to continued success."

According to Dr. Arnold Rubin, the registry's medical director, the HLA registry was a pioneer in establishing a bank of prospective marrow donors for life-saving bone marrow transplants. "Now, under the capable leadership of Dr. Todd, the HLA will help Community Blood Services become a full-service source of stem cells for a new wave of critical medical treatments," Dr. Rubin added.

The blood center and The HLA Registry Foundation recently collaborated on a very successful bone marrow donor recruitment drive run simultaneously with a blood drive to support a young child suffering from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia.

"The unparalleled success of this drive clearly demonstrated the synergy that exists between the two organizations," said Dr. Todd. "The drive also served as a model for future donor recruitment collaborations."

The collaboration in donor recruitment is particularly crucial at this time since the New York metropolitan area is experiencing one of the longest blood shortages in its history.

Dr. Todd noted that the new, stricter FDA-mandated deferral policies, the increased usage of blood, and an aging population of donors are having a combined impact on the national blood supply, leading to an anticipated shortage of about one million pints of blood by the end of 2002.

A leader in transfusion medicine, Community Blood Services offers a wide array of innovative services, including the Elie Katz Umbilical Cord Blood Program, the Rare Blood Donor Registry, the Frozen Rare Blood Depository and the HLA, Platelet Laboratory.

The blood center is a member of the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and America's Blood Centers (ABC).

The HLA registry was founded in 1986 by Dr Katz with the expressed purpose of recruiting potential bone marrow donors for individuals in need of life-saving bone marrow transplants. Over the years the HLA registry grew into the largest independent registry in the United States, with nearly 200,000 donors in its present database.

For more information on The HLA Registry Foundation please call 1-888-HLA-DONOR or 201- 487-0883.

For more information on Community Blood Services, or to make an appointment to donate whole blood, please call 201-251-3703. To donate platelets, call 201-251-3733. For a list of local blood drives see link - BLOOD DRIVES.