DAYTON, Ohio – CEO Christopher Graham announced Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services’ new name on Sept. 1 to a crowd of supporters at the tissue center in Kettering and to 210 blood donors at its Dayton Donation Center by saying, “From this day forward, we are Solvita.”
“This is truly a big day for us,” Graham said at Friday’s announcement event. “Without our donors, and without our 1,275 staff members here and around the world, we would not be able to accomplish what we do every day – saving and enhancing lives.”
The name Solvita comes from “sol” meaning sun and “vita” meaning life. As sunlight nurtures new life, Solvita takes the donor gift and transforms it into new hope, bringing the light of healing to patients in local hospitals receiving blood transfusions, and to those in need of tissue transplants around the world.
Solvita revealed the new name with a video, the unveiling of the Solvita sign inside the tissue center, and the arrival of a Solvita Blood Center Bloodmobile newly wrapped in purple, one of Solvita’s signature colors.
“In 1964 three doctors founded Community Blood Center because of the need for blood for open heart surgeries,” said Graham. “Today we distribute more than 83,000 units each year. The Dayton Regional Tissue Bank was founded in 1986 because local doctors need bone grafts for surgery. We now distribute more than one million grafts each year.”
The crowd heard testimonials from Kettering blood donor Theo Hale and retired Phoenix, Arizona police officer Jason Schechterle, a blood and tissue recipient who serves on the Solvita board of directors.
Hale said his autism helped motivate him to become the blood center’s youngest donor to reach 100 lifetime donations. At age 22 he has 123 lifetime donations, and his goal is 1,000.
“You can use that as a crutch, as an excuse to not do good, or you can use that to do better,” he said. “Move forward with your life and reach any goal you aspire to do. I was the youngest donor ever inducted into the Donation Hall of Fame. That’s not possible without a positive attitude.”
Schechterle was responding to an emergency call in 2001 when his patrol car was struck from behind by a speeding taxi and exploded into flames. He survived miraculously after more than 50 surgeries, and multiple blood transfusions and skin transplants.
It really is a miracle that I am here, and a big part of that miracle is the gift of blood and tissue donations made possible by Solvita,” he said.
“Two years after my accident, my wife and I created another life that is going to go on and create lives, endless over generations. I live my life with one motto: Don’t let the pain of today blind you to the promise of tomorrow.
“It is all part of what is going on right here in this building. Solvita has done amazing things for many years and it’s only going to continue.”
The Solvita unveiling coincided with the kickoff of the Labor Day Weekend Blood Drive Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Sept. 1-3 at the Dayton Solvita Donation Center. Donors arriving for morning appointments were the first to learn the new name and to make their first Solvita donations.
“I’m old and all I’ve ever known is CBC!” said Vandalia donor Melissa Ward. “I’ve been coming with my dad since I was little. It’s different but I can see the benefit of it.”
Solvita’s first donor of the day was David Perez. “Interesting!” said David. “I always assumed CBC and CTS were associated but didn’t know for sure until now. It’s clear to everybody that it’s all the same.”
“I thought, am I in the right place?” said Bert Jones, who with 730 lifetime donations is Solvita’s third-ranked donor. “I’ve been coming to CBC for over 40 years so it’s a change. That’s life.”
“As long as you guys keep doing what you’re doing I don’t care what you call it!” said Jamestown donor Erik Scott.
“The blood center’s been around for so many years, so many people identify with it,” said Kettering’s Bonnnie Huart as she made her 201st lifetime donation. “I think if you get the story out there about what it means, it will help a lot. It makes sense.”