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Press Release

Versiti Blood Centers Welcome Ukrainian Delegates to Milwaukee

Milwaukee — October 18, 2022

Delegates hope to learn about blood donor recruitment and management in America

Versiti, a community blood center providing blood and blood products to hundreds of hospitals and medical clinics throughout the Midwestern United States, welcomed today a delegation of five health administrators from Ukraine facing unprecedented demand for transfusions as casualties mount from the war in their homeland.

In between informational sessions with Versiti leaders and medical staff, delegates will tour donation centers, blood processing facilities and Versiti Blood Research Institute during their four-day stay in Milwaukee. The delegates will learn about best practices in the American blood donation system as the former Soviet nation clashes with hostile, invading military forces.

“People of all nationalities need blood,” said Chris Miskel, President and CEO of Versiti. “We are honored to host these delegates and join them in their efforts to build a more sustainable community health system that best serves the people of Ukraine in times of peace and conflict.”

The delegates’ are traveling on the Open World program administered by the Congressional Office for International Leadership (COIL), an independent agency of the United States Congress. Over 30,000 current and future leaders from post-Soviet era countries have participated in the Open World program.

“Open World offers one of the most effective U.S. exchange programs to promote mutually beneficial options for depolarized engagement between future national leaders,” said Lewis Madanick, a senior program manager at COIL. “It is a unique but no less powerful tool for Congress to engage legislatures in critical regions of the world.”

During their stay in Milwaukee, members of the volunteer group Friendship Force of Milwaukee are hosting the delegates in their homes. The group, which played an integral role in connecting COIL with Versiti, consists of more than 100 volunteers with diverse backgrounds and professions who work together to travel abroad and host international groups and delegations to establish newpartnerships and bridge cultures. The group consists of 350 chapters in more than 60 countries across the globe.

About Versiti

Versiti is a not-for-profit organization in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin specializing in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit

About the Congressional Office for International Leadership

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, COIL has made a point to continue to engage Ukrainians both inside and outside of Ukraine. COIL looks forward to continuing these mutually beneficial exchanges between the United States and Ukraine to promote greater security, democracy, and prosperity together.

COIL strategically connects new generations of international leaders to the most powerful legislative body in the world – the U.S. Congress. Through its Open World program, COIL has brought 30,000 global leaders to the U.S. since its inception in 1999. The program pioneered person-to-person international engagement and provides an immersive experience with delegates' direct professional counterparts, covering a broad spectrum of policy themes rooted within communities across the United States. To learn more about the Open World program, please visit


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