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. 








About Us

Carrie Easley (President)

Carrie Easley received her degree in medical laboratory science from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1999, and has been with Stormont Vail Health since 2009.  Her current role as Laboratory Manager of Quality & Transfusion Safety gives her the opportunity to work with professionals from all over our facility.  She passed the SBB exam by the experience route in 2022 and is currently in the Masters of Transfusion Medicine program at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  Carrie serves as a volunteer assessor for both the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies and the College of American Pathologists.  She has special interests in patient blood management and caring for the critically ill and massively hemorrhaging patient. 

Carrie and her hisband have lived in Lawrence, KS for 25 years with their five children.  She enjoys reading, gardening, playing wiht their gold retrievers, and trips to the beach.  



Carrie and her husband have lived in Lawrence, KS for 25 years with their five children.  She enjoys reading, gardening, playing with their golden retrievers, and trips to the beach.
Carrie and her husband have lived in Lawrence, KS for 25 years with their five children.  She enjoys reading, gardening, playing with their golden retrievers, and trips to the beach.
Shay Jones (Past President-Elect)

Shay Jones received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana and his Medical Technologist training from St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Indiana. Upon completion of Medical Technology training, he was hired on as an Immunohematologist at Community Blood Center. Shay has broadened his training to include training as a genomics tech at the National Center for Blood Group Genomics. Shay is also the Kansas City Education Coordinator where he enjoys passing on knowledge to CLS students and pathology residents. He has presented numerous case studies at HAABB.

In his free time, Shay enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog Gracie, watching movies, reading, and taking on house projects throughout the year.

Mary Signaigo (Past President)

Mary Signaigo is the Clinical Lab Educator for the Blood Bank at Mercy Hospital St. Louis.  Her primary role as CLE is to teach college students or graduates with a Bachelor of Science the clinical requirement for obtaining MLS certification.  Mary is also responsible for all procedures, training, audits and competencies for the Blood Donor Services and Transfusion Services departments.  Mary was born and raised in St. Louis but went to college at Avila University in Kansas City then lived in Dallas and Austin, Texas before returning to her hometown.  Flexibility is one benefit of being an MLS.

Dr. Zhan Ye (Vice President)

Zhan Ye, MD PhD completed medical school at Zhengzhou University Medical College in China. He received his PhD and pathology residency training at the University of Kentucky. He joined Department of Pathology of the University of Kansas in 2017 after finished fellowship training in Transfusion Medicine at University of Pittsburg Medical Center. He is currently Medical Director of KU Health System and associate professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine of KUMC. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, gardening, fencing and classic music.  

Gabe Metzler (Secretary)

Gabe Metzler received an undergraduate degree in Microbiology from the University of Kansas in 2008, followed by an undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2010.  He performed his clinical rotations at Children’s Mercy Hospital and was hired on full time upon completion of the program.  Gabe worked 3 years as a generalist on night shift before moving to day shift blood bank full time.  He completed the UTMB online SBB program in 2016 and was briefly promoted to Blood Bank Senior Technologist prior to being promoted again to Blood Bank Supervisor, which is the role he is currently serving.  In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his dog, traveling, reading, watching sports and movies, and his newest hobby is homebrewing beer (under the guidance of Brew Master Brian Easley!)

Brian Easley (Treasurer)

Brian Easley received an undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2008.  He performed his clinical rotations at Heartland Regional Medical Center (now mosaic) in St. Joseph Missouri and was hired on full time upon completion of the program.  Brian worked 1 year as a generalist on evening shift before moving to Kansas City where he was hired full time at Saint Luke’s Northland on the night shift, but continued PRN at Heartland for many years. While working nights at Saint Luke’s, Brian completed his Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) from Park University. Wanting a change of pace he then accepted a position on nights at Children’s Mercy Hospital for 3 years before becoming the coordinator of the Broadway laboratory for Children’s Mercy Clinics. Missing Blood Bank, Brian accepted the Blood Bank Supervisor position at Truman Medical Center for 2 years before returning to Saint Luke’s Health System as the Blood Bank Manager at the Plaza. He completed the UTMB online SBB program in 2021 after being in awe of his staff’s knowledge.  Brian has been with his wife since they were teenagers, they have been married for 14 years and enjoy traveling and reading Harry Potter with their twin 8 year old daughters. In his free time Brian likes to homebrew beer, and is always accepting new students!

Michelle Burgin (Member at Large)
Michelle Burgin received her certification as a MLT from Michigan Paraprofessional Training institute from Romulus Michigan in 1986. She was a certified MLT through AMT for about 3 years. After which she was eligible to test for her MT certification. In January of 1991 she decided to return to school to work towards her Bachelor’s degree. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg Missouri in May 1997. She has worked at Bothwell Regional Health Center since December 1986 except for 3 years from May 1997-July 2000 where she worked at Capital Region Medical Center. She returned to Bothwell in July of 2000. She took the Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) course through Gulf Coast School of Blood Bank Technology sponsored by Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center in Houston TX in 2008. She has been certified as a SBB since August of 2009. She has served on the board of HAABB since 2010 holding various positions including Secretary, Member-at-Large, Vice President and President.

Kathryn  Harrsion (Member at Large)

Kathryn Harrison graduated from Wichita State University with her degree in Medical Technology.  She started her MT career working for Midwest Transplant Network for 10 years.  She then worked for the American Red Cross for 16 years as a an IRL technologist and then as the IRL Manager in Wichita, Kansas.  She currently works for WellSky as a Clinical Consultant, a position that provides implementation support for hospitals that purchased WellSky Transfusion software.   In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends boating and camping.  She also loves traveling to almost anywhere.

Nancy Quaney (Member at Large)

Nancy Quaney graduated with a degree in Medical Technology from Wichita State University. After graduating, she worked as a generalist in both small and medium size hospitals before beginning her blood bank career at American Red Cross. She is an IRL technologist at American Red Cross in Wichita. Nancy enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and reading.

Lynsi  Rahorst (Member at Large)

After working for several years in the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory at Community Blood Center in Kansas City, Lynsi is now Manager of Education and Training for IRL/Genomics for New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe). In this role, she supports training of laboratory staff and coordinates educational programs and content offered by NYBCe for the greater transfusion medicine community. She earned a Masters of Health Professions Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is ASCP-certified as a Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB). She has served on multiple AABB committees, is an AABB Assessor in training, and participates in Spanish language initiatives in transfusion medicine education. Lynsi is passionate about educating and training the next generation of leaders in immunohematology and genomics.

Max VanKirk (Member at Large)

Max VanKirk received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Kansas State University. After college, he moved back to Kansas City and worked for several years as a veterinary technician at a local animal shelter before enrolling in the Saint Luke's CLS program in 2015. He spent one year on night shift at Saint Lukes before moving to his current full time blood bank position in 2017. Outside of work, when not being abused by their two cats, he enjoys spending time with his wife, lots of reading, watching baseball, and fencing. He is also etremely passionate about paleontology and has participated in amateur dinosaur digs in North Dakota for several years.

Dr. Daniel Walker (Member at Large)

Daniel Walker came to Missouri after a 25 year career in the United States Air Force retiring in the rank of Colonel. He has extensive experience in the transfusion medicine, blood donor center, apheresis and cellular therapy aspects of blood banking.  He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri School of Medicine, teaching medical students, residents, fellows, and laboratory scientists.  He holds board certification in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology in additional to Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine.  He is happily married to his current spouse of more than 30 years and is the father of 8 children. He believes that only working together can all goals be reached. 

David Harsh (Vendor Representative)

David started with Community Blood Center in January of 2015 in the PTL/PCL lab. He then transferred to the Component Lab where he worked as a Component Lab Tech and later became a Component Lab Supervisor. From there, David transferred to Quality Systems as a Training Specialist where he trained in both the Component Lab and Distribution. Currently, David serves as the Manager of the Distribution/Hospital Services department overseeing 14 staff on 3 shifts. David has had the opportunity to serve on many projects at CBC with the most recent being, working with Air Ambulance services to perform transfusion in flight. In his spare time, David enjoys kayaking, sporting clays, watching football, especially the Chiefs, and spending time with his wife and kids. .

Craig Jackson (Vendor Representative)

Craig Jackson received his bachelor’s degree from Southeast Missouri State University and has been involved in Blood Banking since 2010. Craig’s first role with the Red Cross was in Donor Recruitment, where he was in charge of the University of Missouri Homecoming blood drive. This is one of the largest blood drives in the United States collecting over 4000 units at each drive. In his current role with the Red Cross, he is a Senior Account Manager working with hospital across the state or Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family and friends, golf and traveling.

Jennifer Jung (Webmaster)

Jennifer Jung graduated from St. Louis University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.  While earning her degree, she did her blood bank clinical rotation at the American Red Cross Immunohematology Reference Laboratory (IRL) where she fell love with blood bank.  After graduation, she returned to the Red Cross and began her blood bank career as a medical technologist on the evening shift.  She has worked her way through the ranks to her current position as IRL Supervisor.  She enjoys the variety of work and interesting cases that the IRL allows her to experience on a daily basis.  

Jennifer was asked to join the HAABB Board of Directors in 2002.  She has served on the board since then and has had the pleasure of serving in every role of the board except vendor representative at least once. 

In her spare time she enjoys watching the many sports played by her only son, BBQing with her hubby, baking cookies, traveling and capturing moments in pictures.