The Heart of America Association of Blood Banks is a nonprofit, professional organization dedicated to improving Transfusion Medicine by fostering the exchange of information and bringing education opportunities to blood bank and transfusion medicine professionals.  The HAABB hosts two annual meetings for the Kansas City & St Louis areas. 













Case Study:  T-activation in the Newborn

Christina Barron

Immunohematology Reference Laboratory Director
American Red Cross Blood Services, St. Louis, Missouri
Dr. Sarah Hackman
University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

This presentation will discuss the history of T-activation, lectin testing, and implications for blood products as part of a case study of a newborn with necrotizing enterocolitis and hemolysis.  

Christina is the IRL Director for the Missouri-Illinois and Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Regions, with laboratories in St. Louis, Little Rock, and Kansas City (opening Januray 2016).  She began her IRL career with the American Red Cross in 1988 and also serves as an AABB IRL assossor.   

Dr. Hackman attended medical school at the University of Missouri in Columbia and is currently a fourth year resident in anatomical and clinical pathology.  She wll be moving to San Antonio, Texas next June to complete a fellowship in surgical pathoplogy.  


New Therapeutic Approaches to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

Dr. Flavia Costa




Case Study:  Mixed Up in the Blood Bank

Julia Larson

University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas

A case study involving the investigation of a possible mix type warm auto immune hemolytic anemia.

Julia graduated from the University of Missouri in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Health Science in Clinical Laboratory Science. Since 2010, she has worked at the University of Kansas Hospital in the Transfusion Service.  



Where's the Caffeine?  IRL and BBTS Assessments

Mary Kowalski

Community Blood Center, Kansas City, Missouri


Sharon Rice

Blood Bank Manager

Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri


Discussion and case studies about common non-conformances found during regulatory assessments.


The presentation will cover:

  • What assessors are looking for during an assessment
  • The most common nonconformances seen in assessments using the AABB IRL and BBTS Standards
  • "You are the Assessor Case Studies" with examples of objective evidence gathered durign an assessment.  Attendees can use their knowledge to determine if the evidence indicates a nonconformance should be given or not.  

Mary has worked at the Community Blood Center for 37 years.   She tried many different areas in the lab before finding her calling in the reference lab.  She worked in a research lab performing toxicity and mutagenicity studies as part of a National Cancer Institute Study, worked in both the donor testing, components lab and the Immunohematology Reference Lab before moving to the training department in 2013.  Mary has been active in the HAABB since 1987 and has held many positions including Treasurer, President, Vice-President, MO Board Member and Chairman of the Membership Committee. Her first HAABB meeting was in Topeka in 1982 where she heard both PL Mollison and George Garratty and Fred Plapp speak. On a national level she has been a member of the AABB IRL Standards Committee and the AABB Scientific Section Coordinating Committee.  She has over 20 publications and has given hundreds of presentations both regionally and nationally. 



Sharon received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Kansas State University, then graduated from Saint Luke’s Hospital Clinical Laboratory Science program in 1995. She worked as a generalist for several years before becoming the manager of Blood Bank and Transfusion Safety in 2012. Part of her responsibilities include being prepared, at all times, for assessments and assuring that the other 7 hospitals in the Saint Luke’s System are also ready for their Blood Bank assessments! She has severed as an AABB Assessor for 2 years.   Her hobbies include: scrapbooking, gardening, reading, and raising twin teenage boys!






Case Study:  "unusual Suspects"

Elizabeth M. Jones

Blood Bank Educatin Coordinator

Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, MO

Antibodies, like criminals, can sometimes be rather “unusual”!  Many times we suspect the husband, boyfriend, wife, etc, just like we suspect anti-E or anti-Kell to be the culprit. Venture into a case, where an antibody and its “accomplices” are an unusual combination, and how to “solve the crime”, aka, provide compatible blood. It is important to note that the “FBI” (Community Blood Center’s IRL department) was in on this one too, and the case has been cracked… for now!


Elizabeth, better known as Beth, graduated from SMSU (now known as MSU) in 1984 with a Bachelor’s of Science and Secondary Education in both Biology and Chemistry.  She moved on to Forth Worth, Texas, and graduated from Harris Hospital’s Medical Technology Program. After graduation, she gained experience working for the transfusion service at Harris Hospital and the consultation department of Carter Blood Center. In 1993, she and her husband relocated to Kansas City, and she started her Blood Banking career at Saint Luke’s. She has also worked in the laboratories of St. Joseph’s Health Center and Overland Park Regional Medical Center; places where she still has fond memories of, and stays in contact with many of her former co-workers.   In 1999, she accepted the position of Blood Bank Education Coordinator for the CLS program of Saint Luke’s Hospital.  Her biggest joys in life include her family, vacationing in Branson, Missouri, sampling chocolate, and educating others about the joys of Blood Banking! 



Dr. Jody Olson
Saint Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri

Dynamic measure of coagulation such as thromboelastography and thromboelastometry may serve to better guide blood product administration than traditional coagulation tests. Significant evidence exists in liver transplant and cardiac surgery that thromboelastography decrease blood product administration.  The purpose of this talk is to describe this technology and provide a basic review of current evidence.

Dr. Olson is trained in both critical care medicine and transplant hepatology.  His primary clinical interest is in ICU management of advanced liver disease.  He is the site primary investigator for the NIH sponsored acute liver failure study group. 



Case Study:  Antibodies Are Not Always What They Seem...

Lindsay Peters

Refernce Laboratory Supervisor

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, St. Louis, MO


This presentation will

  • Discuss the importance of transfusion history.
  • Discuss techniques used to investigate alloantibody vs. autoantibody
  • Discuss the use of chemicals and/or enzymes in antibody identification.


Lindsay graduated from the University of Illinois at Springfield with a Bachelor’s in Clinical Laboratory Science. She spent a little over a year working at a 450 bed hospital with a NICU and Cardiovascular center until accepting a position in the Springfield, IL Central Illinois Community Blood Center Reference Laboratory. For several summers she taught the Immunohematology portion of the Clinical Laboratory program at UIS. While working in the Reference Laboratory she obtained her Specialist in Blood Banking certification through the University of Texas Medical Branch. She transferred with Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to St. Louis several years ago. Last year, she became the Reference Laboratory Supervisor.  She enjoys working with complex antibody identifications and instructing students through St. Louis University’s CLS program.

Pathogen Inactivation
Dr. Angei Muniz
Medical Director
American Red Cross Blood Services, St. Louis, Missouri

Last December, the Food and Drug Administration approved pathogen reduction systems to treat platelets and plasma.  This presentation will discuss this technology, how it improves blood safety, and clinical trials demonstrating its efficacy.  

Dr. Muniz did her residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology at Montefiore Medical Center and completed a two year fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at the National Institute of Health.  Dr. Muniz has worked as Medical Director for the American Red Cross since 2009.