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Michigan Blood Wins EPIC Award for Excellence in Business

Grand Rapids, MICH. (May 17, 2012) – In a ceremony held last night at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Michigan Blood was awarded the EPIC Award from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce for Excellence in Business. The EPIC Awards (which stands for Entrepreneurial, Progressive, Innovative, and Collaborative) recognizes businesses and individuals that support the community, demonstrate growth, are innovative, and have worked with others as mentors and collaborators 

“This is an incredible honor for us,” said Bill Rietscha, President and CEO of Michigan Blood who accepted the award on Michigan Blood’s behalf. “We’ve made remarkable progress as an organization and it’s all due to the hard work, commitment, passion, and talent of our nearly 1,000 employees and volunteers across the state. This award belongs to them.”

Michigan Blood was recognized by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce for significant market growth, operational improvements, and improved employee relations during a faltering economy made much more intense for the blood-banking industry nationwide due to an unprecedented drop in hospital demand for blood products and services. Over the past three years, Michigan Blood has increased the number of hospitals it serves by 64% and has entered several new markets. Embracing process improvement has made it possible for Michigan Blood to reduce expenses, improve efficiency, and enhance service to donors and clients. Information technology infrastructure has also been completely replaced and updated, improving processes for internal users and enabling advances for hospital customers including online product ordering. The blood inventory management system has been redesigned to assure optimal product availability, and facility updates have created better environments for blood donors and employees. And numerous changes intended to make Michigan Blood a great place to work have resulted in improved employee satisfaction during a time of tremendous change. Michigan Blood also accomplished a complete re-branding, including changing its name, that has resulted in a dramatic increase in the organziation’s awareness and image across the state.

The other nominees for the Excellence in Business category included Open Systems Technology, a local information technology firm, and DK Security and Investigations, a full-service security company based in Kentwood.

“We were certainly in good company with the other nominees,” said Rietscha. “Both Open System Technology, who Michigan Blood has worked with, and DK Security and Investigations deserve recognition for their exceptional business practices.”

About Michigan Blood

Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is an independent, nonprofit blood bank that provides blood  to hospitals across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Serving Michigan hospitals is the top priority for Michigan Blood, which collects more than 120,000 blood donations each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,700 mobile blood drives statewide. Related services available from Michigan Blood include a nationally recognized blood stem cell (marrow) program, therapeutic apheresis, DNA tissue-typing, transfusion medicine consultations, and Michigan’s first public cord blood bank. Michigan Blood is a member of America’s Blood Centers, a network of community blood banks spanning North America that together provide half the US blood supply. For more information, visit www.miblood.org.