Our History

Founded in 1943, Heartland Blood Centers is the oldest blood center in Illinois and among the oldest in the United States. Heartland Blood Centers has expanded over the decades to serve the growing needs of the Chicago metropolitan region and northwest Indiana.

In 2012, Heartland Blood Centers became part of Versiti, a strategic affiliation of healthcare organizations with expertise in blood collection, transfusion and transplantation medicine, stem cell and cellular therapies, hematology, oncology, genomics and more. Heartland Blood Centers and Versiti bring together the industry’s best and brightest researchers, technicians, physicians, leaders and administrative support teams to improve patient outcomes and save lives.

Historic Timeline


Following the death of a leukemia child because of uncontrolled bleeding in 1941, Reverend W. Horstick and William S. Kyler and a group of community leaders, and physicians push for blood center formation.

In 1943, Copley Hospital donates three rooms next to the emergency room for Aurora Blood Bank operations


Aurora Area Blood Bank moves from the renovated Aurora City Hospital building on Lincoln Avenue into new construction of the Heartland Blood Centers’ corporate headquarters, located on Highland Avenue in Aurora, Illinois.


Using a blood cell separator, Aurora Area Blood Bank draws first platelet donor. This new procedure enables blood center to harvest life-saving components and remove life-threatening elements.


Aurora Area Blood Bank opens first satellite donor center in Joliet, Illinois to grow donor base in support of patient care at two Joliet hospitals.


Expanding reach and service beyond three Aurora-based hospitals, blood center changes its name to Heartland Blood Centers.


Heartland Blood Centers expands its life-saving service to patients when it becomes multi-state provider of blood services when three hospitals in Lake  County, Indiana, become members.


Heartland Blood Centers opens new facility in Tinley Park, Illinois, to better service patients in Cook County, Illinois, and Lake County, Indiana.


Nine hospitals join Heartland Blood Centers network expand life-saving services provided by the blood center.  A third distribution center opens in Chicago to serve Chicago-area hospital base and pave the way for future growth.


Implemented electronic donation record process.


Michelle Robinson is named new President of Heartland Blood Centers. Prior to joining Heartland Blood Centers, Robinson held leadership roles with Baxter International Healthcare, General Electric and Covance, in the areas of operations, global services marketing, project management and supply chain.


Heartland Blood Centers attained Accredited Immunohematology Reference status for advance serology testing and reference lab services.  Heartland Blood Centers is pleased to be 1 of 61 accredited labs worldwide.


Heartland Blood Centers appoints Alexander Carterson, M.D., Ph.D., as medical director.  Dr. Carterson will serve as a resource for hospital-based physicians on transfusion medicine, provide medical oversight for donors, and participate in research to advance the care of patients.