KETTERING — “We are here today because of innovation,” said Community Blood Center-Community Tissue Services Executive Vice President and next CEO Christopher Graham as he announced on Dec. 7 the historic milestone of CBC/CTS distributing one million tissue grafts in 2022, the highest number in a single year.
CBC/CTS is a leading provider of bone, skin and tendon allografts worldwide and one of the largest employers in the City of Kettering. CBC/CTS surpassed the one million tissue graft milestone on Dec. 6 with 1,005,942 grafts distributed.
The milestone comes as CBC/CTS leadership prepares to transition to Graham when CEO Dr. David Smith retires at the end of the first quarter in 2023.
“What do we do?” said Dr. Smith in his welcome at the celebration event. “We save and enhance lives locally, domestically and internationally. I can only see that this will continue long into the future.”
“I have to start by saying thank you to the donors and the donor families that make this all happen, who made the decision to help others,” said Graham, “and to our staff who work seven days a week, 365 days of the year and are here 24 hours a day to make this happen.
“If it wasn’t for innovation, I don’t know we would be celebrating this milestone today,” Graham said. “We’re deploying technologies that were not even in existence five years ago. We have teams of individuals who are working to find the next round of technologies that are going to take us into the future. As science evolves, so can our graft production and distribution.”
“We’ve come a long way since 1986,” said CBC/CTS COO Diane Wilson. “One million tissue grafts in one year, saving and enhancing lives of so many. It raises expectations and promises for people across the world, and we’re excited to be part of that. You as the staff of CBC/CTS has made that happen. You honor that donor, take care of the donor and maximize the donor gift.”
“In 2011 I was in a car accident and broke my pelvis,” said Shana Buck, CBC/CTS post processing supervisor, who spoke as a tissue recipient. “It’s a very emotional story for me. My pelvis was broken in multiple places and broken away from my spine. I lost all ability to care for my family. I had to send my children to live with someone else and was unable to perform my duties as a mother.
“I spent my time in a dark depression. I received a bone graft, and that tissue graft changed my life. I try to honor that gift every single day through my work. I can give back to my donor and my community for what allows me to live my life,” Buck continued.
“CBC/CTS has continued the legacy of inventor Charles Kettering with innovative practices that have been lifesaving to so many people,” said Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner. “As a member of city council back in 2011 I was delighted to welcome CTS to Kettering. Now as mayor I’m proud to recognize CTS as one of the largest employers in the City of Kettering with a world-class campus, a facility that is unparalleled.”
“The growth of the tissue center is not only about jobs, development, and new, phenomenal growth, but about people and people in crisis. Thank you for what you have done and will continue to do. Congratulations,” continued Lehner.