Ken Blair, CTS Director-OH, has been working for Community Tissue Services (CTS) in his current role for 23 years. He started out working in an orthopedic clinic in Texas in the 80’s, just as modern tissue banking was evolving. While at this clinic, they occasionally used grafts from local tissue banks. After 10 years, he left that position and worked weekends at an ER. With the encouragement of local tissue bank, he participated in donor recoveries. In 1990, he joined CTS, and as Ken says, “the rest is history.”
When asked what tissue donation means to him, Ken shared with us that it’s “about individuals who can look beyond their circumstance and see how their gift can benefit/change the lives of others in need. It is an unconditional gift, given freely without restriction, solely for the benefit of others.”
Ken explains his passion for his work by defining it as a “privilege to be one of the stewards of these gifts” of tissue donation, “and as such the obligation to ensure that each gift has the opportunity to be utilized to its fullest. I work with individuals with a shared desire to honor the gift, the donor and their family; as well as a commitment to our mission and vision of “Extraordinary people saving and enhancing lives”.”
His work has impacted his life in many ways: It has allowed Ken to participate in an emerging field that holds many answers to the problems of today and the future. It has given him the opportunity to meet and share ideas that will hopefully move the field forward. Perhaps most importantly, though, in some ways, it prepared his family for the loss of a child and the myriad of emotions and decisions that go with that process. Ultimately, Ken says, “it has given me the opportunity to celebrate my son’s life and the impact of his gifts on the lives of others.”
All of us are proud and honored to call Ken not only our co-worker, but also an important part of our CTS family. To learn more about CTS, visit online at our website. To learn more about tissue donation, visit our interactive experience here.