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Mothers and Babies Honored as DeKalb Medical and NCBP Urge Parents to Donate Important Cord Blood

January 10, 2012

Decatur, GA -- Mothers and infants who donated cord blood at birth were honored recently as DeKalb Medical, one of Georgia’s largest maternity centers, and the National Cord Blood Program (NCBP), the world’s first and largest public cord blood bank, urge more parents to donate cord blood. "Many patients have been given a ‘second chance at life’ because an anonymous mother donated this precious resource of blood cells," said NCBP Vice President Pablo Rubenstein, MD.

"We are sincerely grateful for the generosity of mothers like Adrianne Leonard and Teresa Parrish,” said DeKalb Medical Cord Blood Program Medical Director Dr. Leslie Pope. "With Atlanta’s richly diverse population, we hope other hospitals in the Atlanta area and throughout the nation will join this life-saving mission."

Senator David Shafer, who sponsored Georgia’s Senate Bill 148, Saving the Cure Act in 2007, thanked the mothers in attendance and spoke of the importance of donating cord blood. "Every year, there are an estimated 7,000 patients in the U.S. alone, many of them ethnic minorities, who cannot find a matched source of stem cells. Mothers who donate their infants' cord blood are improving the likelihood of patients finding a match and receiving the transplant they need," said Senator Shafer.

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Photo caption: Left to right front: Adrianne Long, donor; Margie Hunter, RN, Director of Women and Infant Services, DeKalb Medical; Dr. Leslie Pope, Medical Director, Cord Blood Program, DeKalb Medical; Theresa Parrish (holding baby Ben), donor; Dr. Rodica Ciubotariu, Director of Donor Services, National Cord Blood Program, New York Blood Center; Dr. Gulshan Harjee, First Medical Care; Rebecca Montgomery, RN, Cord Blood Technologist; Denise Bolin, RN, Cord Blood Technologist. Left to right rear: John A. Shelton, Jr., President and CEO, DeKalb Medical; Dr. Cathy Bonk, OB/GYN Department Chairperson, DeKalb Medical; Mike Zdankowski, Director of Operations; Dr. Pablo Rubenstein, Program Director and Vice President. 

As the first and largest public cord blood bank in the world, NCBP has collected and stored more than 55,000 clinical cord blood units and has provided more than 4,100 cord blood grafts for transplantation worldwide.

Cord blood is available from NCBP as a Food and Drug Administration-licensed product (HEMACORD™) and through clinical research studies under an FDA Investigational New Drug exemption.

About DeKalb Medical

With more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties, DeKalb Medical (www.dekalbmedical.org) combines cutting-edge technology with compassion to effectively diagnose and treat our patients. A leader in cancer, heart attack treatment and orthopedics, the DeKalb Medical system has been growing with metro-Atlanta’s medical needs for 50 years. 

The 627-bed not-for-profit health system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (76 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds) and the DeKalb Medical Physicians Group. Committed to pushing beyond to excel in patient satisfaction and service, our quality is reflected in many clinical excellence awards throughout our three-hospital system including recently ranking in the Top 5% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services by HealthGrades® (2011).

About National Cord Blood Program (NCBP)

Launched in 1992, New York Blood Center's (NYBC) National Cord Blood Program (www.ncbp.us) at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, was the first established umbilical cord blood bank to collect, process, test and store cord blood units and make them available for transplantation to patients in need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The NCBP has provided more than 4,200 cord blood units for transplantation worldwide since its inception. NCBP is a public cord blood bank and accepts requests from Transplant Centers and Registries all over the world. Cord blood units can be accessed and searched directly through NCBP's WebSearch (https://tc.placentalblood.org/). Cord blood units can also be accessed through Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW), the National Marrow Donor Program, or by calling 718.752.4710 or 866.767.6227.

About New York Blood Center: New York Blood Center (NYBC), one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers, has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to hospitals since 1964. NYBC currently serves more than 20 million people in New York City, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and parts of Connecticut and Pennsylvania. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion, and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals along with consultative services in transfusion medicine. Please visit us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/newyorkbloodcenter. Follow us on Twitter:@NYBloodCenter.

Media Contacts:
Tori Vogt MBA, 404.501.2885, tori.vogt@dekalbmedical.org
Christine Dingfelder, 917.763.1648, cdingfelder@nybloodcenter.org

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Patient Inquiries: 404.501.5200

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