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Visit Milwaukee is hosting a series of blood drives this week

During these uncertain times, there is even more of a need for blood donations and that is why Visit Milwaukee will host its Hospitality Heroes Blood Drives beginning on April 14.

Visit Milwaukee has partnered with  Aurora Health Care and Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin to coordinate the blood drives.  

From the press release:

“Our partners at Aurora Health Care informed us that there will be a need for blood in the coming months, particularly when hospitals again begin scheduling elective surgeries. As we have seen throughout our city, so many of our hospitality partners had closed due to the Safer-at-Home order, leaving their buildings empty. It made perfect sense to reach out to those venues and see if they would be amenable to providing their space.

In typical hospitality form, three of them generously stepped up to provide the needed areas for a blood drive,” said VISIT Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. “Even though our hospitality partners have been some of the most impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, this generosity is part of the Milwaukee hospitality community's DNA. We would like to thank  The CooperageAdventure Rock, and  Saz’s South Secondvenue for stepping up. They are what make us so proud to work on behalf of this community,” she said. 

The blood drives will occur by appointment only:  Tuesday, April 14, at The Cooperage
Make an appointment to donate

Wednesday, April 15, at Adventure Rock Milwaukee
Make an appointment to donate 

Thursday, April 16, at South Second
Make an appointment to donate 

Five more blood drives are being tentatively planned at other hospitality venues. 

Dr. Ajay Sahajpal is the Medical Director of the Abdominal Transplant program at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center and helping lead their COVID-19 response team to support transplant services during this historic and crucial time. "Blood cannot be stored indefinitely, meaning there is a constant need for donations. Regular donations are required to ensure there is always a supply for those in need," said Dr. Sahajpal. “Every two seconds, a patient needs a blood transfusion.  Now, more than ever before, we need everyday health care heroes to support blood donation by committing to give during the coming weeks and months.”

Versiti’s Regional Manager, Donor Recruitment, said, “The good news is that because of community support like VISIT Milwaukee’s Hospitality Heroes Blood Drives, coordinated through Aurora Health Care, our blood donations are currently strong and patient needs are being met, even in this exceptional time." But, once we are beyond the COVID-19 crisis, she said, "We anticipate the demand for blood will again be very high. 

There are many patients whose surgeries have been postponed while hospitals prioritize caring for those afflicted by the virus. Those procedures and surgeries will need our support, and we need to be ready. The commitment we’ve received from Milwaukee’s hospitality community to open their doors for as long as there is a need, is nothing short of heroic.” 

Health and safety are the top priorities at each of the Hospitality Heroes Blood Drives. Here are the steps Versiti is taking to ensure this.  

Donor Health & Registration 

  • All donor-facing staff will have their temperature taken prior to beginning their workday
  • Donors temperatures will be taken at registration to ensure they are not elevated prior to entering donation areas
  • Donors will be asked to wash hands prior to screening
  • Donors will be asked if they are currently experiencing coughing or shortness of breath
  • Donors will be asked if they have recently traveled to high-risk countries as defined by the CDC

If any of the above is true, donors will be asked to self-defer. 
Social Distancing 

  • Versiti encourages all donors to make an appointment to lessen the amount of people waiting at our donor centers
  • Ensuring six feet of space between chairs in waiting areas and cafe
  • Ensuring six feet of space between donation chairs and/or separation with medical screens
  • If appointment registration congestion occurs, Versiti will ask for your cell phone number and text when your appointment is ready 


  • Versiti cleans all equipment, beds, and other surfaces after each donor finishes their donation
  • Changing gloves frequently and between donors is part of our normal practice
  • Versiti will maintain sanitized pen bins, so donors are only using clean pens at sign-in
Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee