ImpactLife appoints new medical director

ImpactLife will have a new Chief Medical Officer effective July 1, 2022.

On Thursday, the organization announced the nomination of Daniela Hermelin, MD, for the position, to succeed longtime chief medical officer Dr. Louis Katz. Dr. Hermelin is currently Assistant Professor of Pathology at St. Louis University School of Medicine and Medical Director of Transfusion Services at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital and SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Daniela Hermelin will become the new Medical Director of ImpactLife effective July 1, 2022.

“We are very fortunate to introduce Dr. Daniela Hermelin as our new Chief Medical Officer,” ImpactLife President/CEO Mike Parejko said in a statement. “She is a highly regarded specialist in transfusion medicine who brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles at Saint Louis University and SSM Health. I have great confidence in her ability to succeed Dr. Louis Katz in this role of essential leadership.

Dr. Hermelin completed a residency in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology in 2019, followed by a Fellowship in Transfusion Medicine at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital. A passionate educator, Dr. Hermelin received the 2019 AABB 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.

Hermelin has been recognized for her use of social media in blood banking and transfusion medicine.

Dr. Hermelin is the social media editor for Transfusion Medicine Opinion as well as associate editor of The Blood Bank Guy Essentials podcast and Transfusion News. Additionally, Dr. Hermelin is an active member of numerous professional associations, including the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies (AABB), American Society for Apheresis (ASFA), College of American Pathologists (CAP) , the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the International Society of Blood Transfusion (ISBT).

Dr. Louis Katz has been Chief Medical Officer since 1983.

Dr. Katz began his medical career as an infectious disease specialist and deeply involved in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients since the onset of the pandemic in the early 1980s. Recognizing the future impact that HIV would have on transfusion medicine, blood center founder Dick Navota recruited Dr. Katz as medical director of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center (MVRBC) in 1983. (MVRBC changed its name to ImpactLife in May 2021. )

Dr. Katz is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Iowa Healthcare, and has authored or co-authored numerous abstracts, articles, and book chapters, is associate editor of the 20th and 21st editions of the Technical Manual of the AABB and remains on the editorial board of Transfusion.

Beyond the Blood Center, Dr. Katz has held other local and national positions, including Medical Director of the Scott County Department of Public Health, Chief Medical Officer of America’s Blood Centers, and Director The Project (a regional HIV/AIDS service organization).

ImpactLife is a community-based, nonprofit organization that provides blood services to 125 hospitals in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin, as well as resource sharing partners across the country.

Services extend from south-central Wisconsin to St. Louis and from Danville, Illinois to Chariton, Iowa. (See a map of the ImpactLife service region.) ImpactLife operates 22 donor centers and conducts approximately 5,000 mobile blood drives each year to provide blood components needed for patient transfusions at hospitals in our region.