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Versiti Blood Center of Ohio

Ohio State Kicks off Annual Blood Battle Oct. 27 with Goal of Beating Blood Shortage and Rival

Columbus, Ohio – October 29, 2021

Highlights: Haskell Garrett appearance and a chance for 4 tickets to “The Game”

COLUMBUS, Ohio (October 20, 2021) — Next Wednesday, October 27, marks the kickoff of the 40th Annual Blood Battle between The Ohio State University and “That Team Up North.” The Blood Battle is a four-week competition where community members of each school rally to provide critical blood products to assist patients in need.

This year’s competition comes amid a national shortage of donated blood. The Versiti Blood Center of Ohio reports a 40% shortage in blood donation in 2021 when compared to standard years. Versiti is the blood products provider for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The Buckeyes have lost to their rival in the last two competitions.

On hand to cheer the donors will be special Buckeye guest Haskell Garrett. The 2020 first-team All-America defensive tackle stunned the football world by returning to play last fall, just weeks after being shot in the face while trying to break up a fight. Garrett’s amazing recovery and resilience highlight not only the best of the Buckeye spirit, but also the critical importance of blood transfusion for trauma victims.

The 2021 Blood Battle starts with a kickoff event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at The Schottenstein Center near the Northeast Rotunda. It’s the first of more than 50 public and private drives that will count toward Ohio State’s Blood Battle total. The Schottenstein Center will also host two additional drives on Nov. 2 and Nov. 18. Donors can schedule an appointment to donate blood on the competition’s website.

Donors at the kickoff drive will receive a free Blood Battle T-shirt and will be entered to win four tickets to the away game at Michigan on November 27 in Ann Arbor, MI, which includes limo accommodations. A separate set of four tickets and limo accommodations will also be given away to donors who attend the Blood Battle event at the Schottenstein Center on November 2.

Versiti’s goal is to collect 1,500 blood units during the Battle. The need is more critical than ever, as hospitals are stressed, and blood donations nationwide remain lower than normal by pandemic restrictions.

“Blood and blood products are critical to the complex treatments we provide as a major academic medical center and the Midwest’s largest cancer hospital,” said Dr. Scott Scrape, a pathologist and director of transfusion medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “We hope the Blood Battle will make more people in central Ohio aware of how much good they can do by donating blood.”

Versiti became Ohio State’s primary supplier of blood products in July 2019. The company specializes in rare blood types and operates a Blood Research Institute in Wisconsin. It will open its first permanent collection center in Columbus in 2022.

“We’re excited to expand our presence in central Ohio,” said Versiti Chief Executive Officer Chris Miskel. “We hope many of our Blood Battle donors will come see us again when the new donation center opens.”

The final Blood Battle drive will be November 23 at The Ohio Union. Until then, drives will take place several days per week at locations on and around the OSU campus. For a complete listing and to schedule an appointment, visit Versiti.org/bloodbattle or call 800-485-6594.

Wonder how the home team’s doing? Track progress on the scheduling site or on Twitter @BloodCenterOh.

Kickoff Event Details

Where: The Schottenstein Center, Northeast Rotunda, 555 Borror Drive, Columbus, OH 43210
When: Wednesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Who: All eligible blood donors

Media interview opportunities:

  • Haskell Garrett, Ohio State football defensive tackle (11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
  • Dr. Alcinda Flowers, physician, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
  • Dr. Dan Waxman, senior medical director for Versiti
  • Brian Bautista, EVP and chief operating officer for Versiti
  • Student and community blood donors

*** Interviews can be scheduled and conducted to preview the event between Oct. 22 – Oct. 26, or on the day of the kickoff event for anyone except Haskell Garrett.

Other video/photo opportunities: Brutus Buckeye

About Versiti

Versiti, a national leader in blood health innovation, was formed with the mission to improve the health of patients and enable the success of our health care partners nationally. We provide innovative, value-added solutions in the fields of transfusion medicine, transplantation, and blood-related diseases to meet the needs of each of our hospital partners. The collective efforts across Versiti result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit versiti.org.

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