ImpactLife will have a new chief medical officer, starting July 1, 2022.
On Thursday, the organization announced the appointment of Daniela Hermelin, M.D., for the position, to succeed longtime chief medical officer Dr. Louis Katz. Dr. Hermelin is currently an Assistant Professor of Pathology at St. Louis University School of Medicine and the Medical Director of Transfusion Services at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.
“We are very fortunate to introduce Dr. Daniela Hermelin as our new Chief Medical Officer,” Mike Parejko, ImpactLife president/CEO, said in a release. “She is a highly regarded specialist in transfusion medicine who brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles with Saint Louis University and SSM Health. I have great confidence in her ability to succeed Dr. Louis Katz in this critical leadership role.”
Dr. Hermelin completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology in 2019, followed by a fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital. A passionate educator, Dr. Hermelin was the recipient of the AABB 2019 President’s Award — recognizing her use of social media to share her knowledge in the fields of blood banking and transfusion medicine with students and fellow practitioners.
Dr. Hermelin serves as the Social Media Editor for Transfusion Medicine Reviews as well as an Associate Editor of The Blood Bank Guy Essentials Podcast and Transfusion News. Additionally, Dr. Hermelin is an active member of many professional associations including the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB), The American Society for Apheresis (ASFA), College of American Pathologists (CAP), American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT).
Dr. Katz began his career in medicine as an infectious disease specialist and deeply involved in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients from the onset of the pandemic in the early 1980s. Recognizing the future impact HIV would have on transfusion medicine, the blood center’s founder, Dick Navota, recruited Dr. Katz as Medical Director for Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) in 1983. (MVRBC changed its name to ImpactLife in May 2021.)
Dr. Katz is an adjunct clinical professor of Infectious Diseases at University of Iowa Healthcare, and has authored or coauthored many abstracts, articles, and book chapters, is an associate editor of the 20th and 21st editions of the AABB Technical Manual and remains on the editorial board of Transfusion.
Beyond the blood center, Dr. Katz has served in other local and national roles including as Medical Director for Scott County Department of Public Health, Chief Medical Officer for America’s Blood Centers, and Medical Director of The Project (a regional HIV/AIDS service organization).
ImpactLife is a nonprofit community organization providing blood services to 125 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country.
Services extend from southcentral Wisconsin to St. Louis, and from Danville, Ill., to Chariton, Iowa. (See a map of the ImpactLife service region.) ImpactLife operates 22 Donor Centers and holds approximately 5000 mobile blood drives annually to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals throughout our region.