Rowena Punzalan, MD - Medical Director Transfusion Medicine

Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program

This program, jointly offered by Versiti and the Medical College of Wisconsin, aims to train future leaders in blood banking and transfusion medicine.

Transfusion Medicine Blood Banking Fellowships


Our Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine (BBTM) Fellowship Program, jointly offered by the Medical College of Wisconsin and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin, aims to train future leaders in Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine.

This one-year fellowship provides graduates with a wide range of training that prepares them to undertake any job in the field of blood banking/transfusion medicine (BBTM). Transfusion medicine, pathology and hematology faculty from Versiti and the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Pathology provide clinical, educational and research mentorship.

Rowena Punzalan, MD
Program Director
Lisa Anderson
Program Coordinator

Core rotations:

  • Transfusion service and therapeutic apheresis consults (24 weeks)
  • Basics of therapeutic apheresis
  • Immunohematology (4 weeks)
  • Hemostasis, platelet and neutrophil immunology, histocompatibility, and immunogenetics
  • Stem cell processing
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Blood center operations and quality
  • Blood collection and processing
  • Donor management
  • Donor testing
  • Quality management and regulatory
  • Research
  • Elective

In addition, we offer a uniquely flexible curriculum that allows the fellow to identify a particular area of interest and spend additional time in training and research. Current training tracks include:

  • Coagulation
  • Therapeutic apheresis
  • Pediatric transfusion medicine
  • Immunohematology

Other features:

Didactic teaching

  1. Weekly lecture series covering all aspects of BBTM
  2. Journal club
  3. Research talks
  4. Teaching residents, medical technologists, medical students, Specialist in Blood Banking students and other allied health professionals

Research

  1. Protected research time
  2. Mentoring in clinical, basic science and translational research from medical and research faculty at Versiti Blood Research Institute and the Medical College of Wisconsin

Training Locations

  • Internationally known diagnostic reference laboratories in immunohematology, platelet and neutrophil immunology, hemostasis, histocompatibility, and molecular diagnostics
  • Versiti Blood Research Institute and Versiti Medical Sciences Institute
  • Versiti Blood Centers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin

  • Froedtert Hospital is a 400-bed, level 1 trauma center with programs in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, CAR-T therapy, high-risk obstetrics, solid organ transplantation, sickle cell disease, hemophilia and neuromuscular disorders.
  • Children’s Wisconsin is a 300-bed tertiary care pediatric hospital and level 1 trauma center with programs in cardiac, renal and liver transplantation; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and CAR-T therapy; oncology; sickle cell disease; and hemophilia.

  • The Advocate Aurora system includes a quaternary care hospital that specializes in cardiothoracic surgery, a maternity hospital and several community hospitals, with a total of 80,000 transfusions and 2,500 serologic workups per year.

Application

All candidates must be certified or eligible for certification in clinical pathology, hematology/oncology (adult or pediatric) or other major specialty boards. Stipends are commensurate with the level of relevant post-graduate training and expertise.

Applicants are currently being accepted for 2025-2026, 2026-2027, and 2027-2028 academic years.

Eligible candidates interested in applying should send their CV and a letter of interest to: 

Rowena Punzalan, MD
Program Director
Lisa Anderson
Program Coordinator

Living in Milwaukee

 

Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is a city with a small-town feel. Museums, festivals, amazing restaurants, sporting events and brewery tours are just a few of the great things to do here. Chicago and Madison are also a short drive away. Learn more about relocating to Milwaukee.

Alumni

100% of alumni have passed the American Board of Pathology BBTM board exams on their first try. After completion of the transfusion medicine fellowship program, our alumni have gone on to work in several types of practice settings located in the United States and Canada.

Alumni Locations

Alumni Locations

Areas of Focus

Alumni Practice Settings
 
Continuing Education Scholarship
The Joan Heimler Legacy of Life Scholarship is available to critical care & emergency nursing professionals in Wisconsin who work with organ & tissue donation.
 
Professional and Continuing Education
Versiti’s beLearning is a continuing education, self-directed learning module for healthcare professionals in blood banking, transfusion medicine and more.
 
Specialist in Blood Banking Program
Credits earned as part of the Specialist in Blood Banking SBB Program can be used toward a masters of scient in transfusion medicine at Marquette Universtiy.
 
TxMD Transfusion Medicine Resources
TxMD transfusion medicine program provides blood transfusion client education and blood management guidelines to partner hospitals.