Series will engage civic organizations, businesses and healthcare leaders to address challenge


PITTSBURGH, August 25th, 2021 –  Today, the Blood Science Foundation (BSF), the philanthropic arm of Vitalant®, will host its first Blood Summit Series, comprising three educational and interactive brainstorming sessions that will engage community leaders about the imminent need for regional recurring blood donations and funding research in transfusion medicine practices, rare blood disease treatments, and other emerging blood-related sciences.

Blood Summit Series participants include personnel from key regional for-profit and nonprofit organizations as well as BSF and Vitalant leadership and medical staff. Meeting facilitation will be provided by The Forbes Funds.

“Every hour of every day, blood is needed to save lives. With this constant need, we are leading a never-ending quest to collect the donations necessary to save lives,” said Mark Giaquinto, President and CFO of BSF. “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this challenge. Bringing together this group of leaders is a vital step in finding new ways to increase blood donations and fund urgently needed research and treatments.”

BSF has established key objectives for the summit and hopes to: 

  • Engage community leaders through a greater understanding of the community’s responsibility in providing a safe and ample blood supply for the betterment of healthcare throughout the region.
  • Rekindle the sense of altruism surrounding blood donation—the value and thrill of making a positive difference and literally saving up to three lives with each blood donation.
  • Develop strategies to better educate the community about the challenges in maintaining a safe and ample blood supply for regional hospitals and healthcare systems.
  • Develop strategies to reduce the region’s reliance on other U.S. cities to meet the blood needs of regional hospitals and healthcare systems.
  • Develop strategies to grow the donor base, especially in the 16-to-40 age group.

Vitalant Pittsburgh only collects 50 percent of the blood needed by local hospitals and healthcare facilities from its current regional blood donors. The remaining need must be met with blood imported from other blood centers across the United States at a cost of more than $10 million annually. As the fundraising arm of Vitalant, BSF secures charitable funds necessary to ensure a safe and ample blood supply, support research into blood-related diseases and transfusion practices, and meet Vitalant’s equipment and operational needs.

The second session has been scheduled for October 12, 2021. The third session will be announced in the coming weeks.