Oversight of scientific, medical, and regulatory initiatives to follow September retirement of Dr. Celso Bianco
Davenport, Iowa – Dr. Louis Katz has been appointed as the next Executive Vice President for America’s Blood Centers (ABC). Dr. Katz currently serves as Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) and has worked with the Davenport-based community blood center for more than 30 years. He will transition from his role at MVRBC to his new position with ABC following the September retirement of Dr. Celso Bianco, who has held the position since 2000.
The announcement was made to ABC’s member blood centers in the U.S. and Canada last Friday. “It is a great tribute to the America’s Blood Centers’ membership that we have attracted two of the finest physicians in all of blood banking – first Celso, now Lou – to work with and represent us,” said ABC’s Chief Executive Officer Jim MacPherson. “With the complexity of blood safety issues, Celso was absolutely the right person for his time with us. We are lucky that as community blood centers are integrating more with their hospitals that he will be succeeded by such a distinguished clinician as Lou Katz.”
In his new role, Dr. Katz will serve as ABC’s Chief Medical Officer. He will also lead ABC’s scientific, medical, technical, quality, and regulatory efforts and represent ABC and its member blood centers before governmental and regulatory agencies. Dr. Katz is no stranger to ABC, having served the organization in many leadership capacities, including president, chair of the Scientific, Medical, and Technical Committee, and as a spokesperson for several years.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Katz to cap his distinguished career by influencing policy in transfusion medicine at a national level,” said Dave Green, Chief Executive Officer at MVRBC. Due to the nature of his new position, Dr. Katz will be based at MVRBC’s headquarters in Davenport, although he will travel frequently to Washington D.C. and to blood centers throughout the country. “He will be very busy with his new responsibilities, but I’m glad to know Dr. Katz will be available to provide counsel to the MVRBC medical staff as we maintain continuity in our medical affairs programs,” said Green.
Dr. Paul McLoone, Chief Medical Officer for Trinity Regional Health System and Chair of MVRBC’s Board of Directors, said “it’s no surprise” ABC would recruit Dr. Katz for a national leadership role. “Through his past service to ABC, his research, and most importantly his stewardship and development of our own community blood center, Lou has demonstrated unparalleled expertise and judgment in the field of transfusion medicine. We have been fortunate to work alongside a nationally recognized leader for all these years.”
Dr. Katz’ accomplishments and experience include: serving as a member and chair of the Food and Drug Administration Blood Products Advisory Committee, a member the AABB Transfusion Transmitted Diseases Committee, the Health and Human Services National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s XMRV Scientific Research Working Group, serving as Medical Director to the Scott County, Iowa Health Department and founding Community Health Care, Inc.’s Regional Virology Center, a comprehensive Ryan White-funded AIDS clinic in Davenport, Iowa.
“To follow my good friend Dr. Bianco into this position is an honor, but also humbling. I wish him all the best in a retirement that we all know will be as engaged as ever in the important work we do,” said Dr. Katz. “I intend to focus my efforts on service to the membership of America’s Blood Centers specifically, and the blood community in general, while advocating for rational policy development and implementation. All thanks for this opportunity are due to my colleagues at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, who are so good at what they do, that I have been free to spend a lot of time thinking about issues external to the blood center for more than 25 years.”
About America’s Blood Centers
Founded in 1962, America’s Blood Centers is North America’s largest network of community-based, independent blood programs. Recognized by the U.S. Congress for its critical work in patient care and disaster preparedness and response, the federation operates more than 600 blood donor centers providing half of the U.S., and a quarter of the Canadian blood supply.
These blood centers serve more than 150 million people and provide blood products and services to more than 3,500 hospitals and healthcare facilities across North America. America’s Blood Centers’ U.S. members are licensed and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Canadian members are regulated by Health Canada. For more information, see www.americasblood.org.
About Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
MVRBC is the exclusive provider of blood products and services to 85 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin, including all of the hospitals in the Quad Cities region. The Blood Center is based in Davenport, Iowa, where MVRBC’s testing, processing and primary distribution center produces transfusable blood components from more than 200,000 whole blood and platelet apheresis donations each year. The Blood Center’s service region extends from southwestern Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri and from Danville, Illinois to Albia, Iowa, an area with a population of more than 4-million residents.
The not-for-profit community blood center has regional administrative offices in central Illinois (Springfield, Ill., operating as Central Illinois Community Blood Center), eastern Illinois (Urbana, Ill., operating as Community Blood Services of Illinois); southeastern Iowa (Ottumwa, IA) and the St. Louis region (Maryland Heights, MO). From these locations, MVRBC collects blood at 17 fixed site donor centers and at more than 4,000 mobile blood drives held each year. Since its founding in 1974, MVRBC has collected more than 2.5-million units of blood from volunteer donors and has served millions of patients in the Midwest and beyond through national resource sharing programs. For more information, see www.bloodcenter.org.