Not a Scary Friday the 13th for Our Newest SBB Graduate

On Friday, September 13, 2019, we celebrated the accomplishments of our most recent Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) graduate, Kayla Erculiani. We were delighted to have Kayla’s family join us in the Wilmer Portrait Room for this special occasion.

Kayla came to The Johns Hopkins Hospital Transfusion Medicine Division in June 2016 following her graduation from Salisbury University with a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory sciences. When asked about her experience she responded, “The SBB program has helped me grow significantly in the span of one year. It has expanded my knowledge and provided me with lasting relationships among the transfusion medicine community. The education aspect was phenomenal, but my favorite part of the program was the rotations. These experiences allowed me to understand management, donor facilities, cell therapy, HLA, molecular testing and more. I look forward to the future and applying the skills I have learned during my time in the SBB program as I work towards a blood bank management position. I would recommend the program to any blood banker striving for a deeper understanding and involvement in the transfusion medicine world.”

We are proud of Kayla and look forward to what the future has in store for her. Kayla has recently been promoted to a Lead Technologist in our division.

Our new SBB class began on September 5, 2019, with three eager students, Kristen Buban, Jordan Ippolito, and Karaleigh Leonard.

Kristen Buban graduated from University of Delaware in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science. She obtained the majority of her immunohematology experience at the University of Maryland Medical Center and joined The Johns Hopkins Hospital Transfusion Medicine Division in August 2018. When Kristen was asked why she enjoys the blood bank, she replied, “I was always passionate about health care and knew I wanted to work behind the scene in the lab. I discovered blood banking and really enjoyed the hands-on testing. While blood bankers usually do not interact directly with patients, I take pride in knowing we still make a huge impact on the patient’s care. Knowing I make a difference is what has made me love blood banking and want to pursue my SBB certification.”

Jordan Ippolito graduated from Colorado State University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and completed her medical laboratory science training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2015. She gained her blood bank experience at Flagstaff Medical Center in Arizona before joining the Johns Hopkins Hospital Transfusion Medicine Division in June 2019. When Jordan was asked why she is pursuing her SBB certification, she said,  “I’m pursuing my SBB to gain a more intimate knowledge of transfusion medicine so that I may pass that knowledge on to others. Together we can help provide the safest blood components possible for our patients.”

Karaleigh Leonard graduated from Coastal Carolina University in South Caroline with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science in 2013 and received her bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland in medical and research technology in 2015.  She has been a part of The Johns Hopkins Hospital Transfusion Medicine Division since June 2015 and is a teaching assistant at University of Maryland’s Department of Medical and Research Technology. When Kara was asked what she looks forward to in the SBB program, she responded,  “After my first blood banking class I knew it was the path for me. My teacher’s passion for the topic truly inspired me, and after seeing my love for blood bank, she always encouraged me to pursue SBB. I look most forward to using what I learn to excite and inspire others about blood banking, as she did for me.”

Our SBB Program website has additional information about The Johns Hopkins Hospital Specialist in Blood Banking Technology Program. If you are a graduate of our program and do not see your name listed, we would love to add you.  Please contact Lorraine Blagg, [email protected].


Lorraine N. Blagg, MA, MLS(ASCP)CM SBB
Education & Development Coordinator
Transfusion Medicine Division
Department of Pathology
The Johns Hopkins Hospital