Nov. 15 is World Cord Blood Day, an initiative of Save the Cord Foundation. Celebrate by joining the discussion on social media. World Cord Blood Day will be marked with a free, live virtual conference on the website www.worldcordbloodday.org
Dr. Stacy Pollack, 3rd year OBGYN resident at UAMS, received the Best Clinical Abstract Award at the 15th International Cord Blood Symposium in San Diego, CA from June 8-11. She was also selected to give one of the few oral presentations at the meeting for her project, titled “Effect of Umbilical Cord Blood Educational Curriculum on the Quality of Resident Cord Blood Units.” The project grew from the partnership of the CBBA’s director, Dr. Michele Cottler-Fox and the CBBA’s coordinator, Plummer Badger, with the UAMS Department of OBGYN’s Drs. Samantha McKelvey and Dr. Lindsey Sward, who helped Dr. Pollack with the project.
Cord blood collection is not currently a part of the standard OBGYN teaching curriculum in the U.S., but patients expect that their doctor will have sufficient expertise to perform an adequate collection. Teaching the residents about cord blood donation counseling and collection technique with immediate feedback and one-on-one simulation sessions has been part of resident education at UAMS starting shortly after the CBBA’s inception, with funding from a grant by the Chancellor’s Circle, and this project sought to determine its effect. When compared with the collections from providers outside UAMS during the same time period, the resident collections were significantly better quality, higher volume units (91.9 mL +/- 33.0 mL for UAMS residents vs. 72.9 mL +/- 34.8 mL, p<0.0002.)
The presentation was enthusiastically received at the meeting, and the educational curriculum was lauded as the paradigm example of what all OBGYN residencies should be doing. Dr. Haywood Brown, the new president of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG) was on site for the symposium, and vowed to pass the recommendation to include cord blood collection/couneling on collection to the education committee at ACOG. He is from Duke, where he has worked regularly with cord blood research pioneer Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg at the Carolinas Cord Blood Bank, one of the largest in the world. He has personally collected some of the units used to save the lives of children who were expected to be born with otherwise lethal genetic diseases. (see his photo with Drs. McKelvey, Sward and Pollack).
Expectant parents and health professionals across the globe are invited to participate in the inaugural World Cord Blood Day, to be held on Nov. 15. “We are excited about this opportunity to expand cord blood education worldwide while providing a platform for discussion focused exclusively on this valuable medical resource,” said Charis Ober, executive director of Save the Cord Foundation. Organized by Save the Cord Foundation, World Cord Blood Day is sponsored by Quick Specialized Healthcare Logistics. Inspiring Partners for the event include AABB, the Cord Blood Association, Be the Match (NMDP), World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA – Netcord) and FACT. As Inspiring Partners, these organizations will provide industry-specific and medical expertise. AABB will develop activities that highlight cord blood in connection with its social media.
World Cord Blood Day will also host a free, open virtual conference on November 15. The program will include introductory presentations appropriate for the public, as well as academic lectures designed for health professionals and led by renowned researchers and transplant doctors. In parallel, organizers will build cord blood awareness and encourage participation in the day’s events via social media. Register now to see how your cord blood bank can participate in this complimentary event at www.WorldCordBloodDay.org.
The Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas recently lost a dear friend when Robert “Bob” Goza passed away on June 02, 2016. Bob had many friends from all walks of life and truly touched the lives of those he knew. A couple of those friends have shared some words about what it was like to know Bob.
“Remembering Bob Goza”
I knew Bob for many years as our hospital architect before we started the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas. No conversation with Bob ever finished without an update on his children or their travels, and I always left feeling happy that there was someone like Bob in the world. His positive attitude brightened my day, and his can-do attitude made my work easier. When we started the cord blood bank, I finally met his children and saw that they had inherited all his good qualities and made them their own. I admire them more than I can say, and my life is better for knowing them all. They have both been strong supporters of the cord blood bank, as Bob was in so many ways I cannot count them, and I thank them for their support of us as we strive to help others.
– Michele Fox, MD
Bob Goza loved his children! If you knew Bob, you knew his children. Life was complete the day he became a dad and the rest of his life was devoted to being sure they experienced the best. Bob taught them, and in doing so he taught us the importance of loving parents, wonderful travels, a great education, an appreciation of art and music, and a profession you love.
He loved a “good church service” complete with the appropriate hymns and message. He played the piano and organ and sang in the church choir. He worked hard to make a “dish” just as his mother had prepared it from her recipe in her handwriting. Bob loved a potluck! We shared dinner each Thursday evening and many times Bob would hurry home from work to make something to bring.
Bob was a grammarian! Discussions about the correct use of a particular word could go on for hours! Bob loved the UK and an invitation for High Tea at Bob’s house was a special occasion complete with Devon Clotted Cream that he ordered from England. He made his own scones and marmalade.
But most of all, Bob loved to “visit” and he could talk for hours. He valued his friendships and took great care in nurturing those people.
I long for one more visit!
– Donna Norvell Smith
July is National Cord Blood Awareness month! We’re celebrating by spreading the word about cord blood and hosting a virtual balloon release. Cord blood is the term used for the blood collected from the umbilical cord and placenta (after birth) when a healthy baby is born. It is rich in blood-forming cells that can be used in transplants for patients with leukemia, lymphoma and many other life-threatening diseases. Established by the Newborn Umbilical Cord Initiative Act in March 2007, the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas at UAMS is linked to national and international networks of cord blood banks of cells for transplant all over the world.
All cord blood is tremendously valuable. Even if the cord blood does not meet the requirements to be banked, it finds a second life in furthering research. Cord blood has tremendous promise for regenerating diseased or injured organs, including heart muscle, bone and spinal cord tissue. Whereas bone marrow or circulating blood requires near-perfect matches between donor and recipient, cord blood is more adaptable.
Daohong Zhou, M.D., a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the UAMS College of Pharmacy, is investigating the potential for cord blood to treat patients with various hematological diseases, such as leukemia. “We are studying ways to make cord blood transplantation more widely available,” he said. “Primitive cells exist in greater numbers cord blood than in the blood we adults carry, but the total number of cells in cord blood needs to be expanded to be clinically useful. Using donated cord blood, our findings on control of primitive cell expansion may unlock new strategies for transplantation so that we can more effectively treat hematological diseases and malignancies.”
Despite how life-changing cord blood can be for both recipients and research, it is still often discarded due to a lack of understanding about what it means to donate cord blood.
During National Cord Blood Awareness month, we are asking you to help spread the word about the importance of donating cord blood. Please share this with your friends and family and consider a gift to celebrate this month!
Your gift of $1,400 sponsors a Compassionate Needs Storage
A gift to Compassionate Needs Storage would make funds available to assist families that have a medical need to bank their child’s cord blood for family use due to disease or disorder, but do not have sufficient financial means to do so.
Your gift of $150 sponsors a cord blood collection kit.
Collection kits are made available to parents at no cost when they are donating their child’s cord blood to the public bank. Your gift helps to ensure that kits are available to continue collecting these valuable cells.
Your gift of $50 sponsors a ‘virtual balloon’.
Let your support fly high and carry on the message cord blood donation with a ‘virtual balloon’. Our ‘virtual balloons’ represent the uplifting hope and life that cord blood can provide, and they create awareness by spreading the word to others about cord blood donation.
Your gift of any amount may be made in honor, or memory, of someone special.
Gifts of all amounts are appreciated as they go directly to support the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas.
”The birth of a baby holds with it a miracle most parents aren’t aware of – the ability to save a life,” said Donna Wolfe, advisory board chair for the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas. “Cord blood donation is important because it holds the promise of future cures. Your gift celebrates the progress that has been made to date in cord blood treatment and helps ensure cord blood continues to save lives.”
To learn more about the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas and how you can be involved, please go to www.cordbloodbankarkansas.org.
The Fighting Red 5K is this year’s primary fundraiser for the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas. Funds generated through this special event will support ongoing outreach and educational efforts to promote cord blood donation and important research. By making a gift in Emily’s honor, you are making this important work a priority. Your gifts will collectively serve as the presenting sponsor, ‘Friends of Emily’, for this fun benefit race.
Click the image below to donate today!
The 3rd Annual Fighting Red 5K: A Race to End Blood Cancer is a 5K race and kid’s fun run which takes place on September 25, 2015 beginning at 6:00 PM. The race starts on the Cooks Landing going over the Big Dam Bridge. Proceeds go to the UAMS Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas. 6:00 PM family fun run/ 7:00 PM 5k Big Dam Bridge, Cooks Landing, Little Rock, AR
Certified Course/Official Race Timing for 5K.
Click the logo below to register for the event!
To download the 2014 Fighting Red 5K flyer, please Click Here.
The Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas (CBBA) celebrated more than the usual group of dedicated supporters at its annual sold-out luncheon July 16 at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, as the UAMS-housed organization honored its leader with an inaugural chair.
Michele Fox, M.D., director of Cell Therapy and Transfusion at UAMS and medical director of the CBBA, was presented the Michele Cottler-Fox, M.D. Chair in Regenerative Medicine and Cord Blood Banking as part of the luncheon’s program that honored supporters and those who have benefitted from life-saving cord blood transplants.
Fox used the occasion to make up for a lifetime of milestones that ended unceremoniously.
“My high school and college graduation ceremonies were cancelled by rain; my medical school had neither a white coat ceremony nor a formal graduation; my residency and fellowship programs had no formal end-of-program celebration,” Fox said. “So this investiture ceremony today is my surrogate for all of the others, and I would like to thank everyone for being here to share it with me today.”
UAMS Chancellor Dan Rahn, M.D., and College of Medicine Dean G. Richard Smith, M.D., led the investiture ceremony and praised the efforts of Fox that have made UAMS and Arkansas a national leader in this life-changing field.
“Thanks to Dr. Fox, Arkansans and UAMS are now in an elite, active network being looked upon nationally as a state model for promoting the use of umbilical cord blood cells,” Rahn said. “We are proud to have her with us and know this chair will help the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas move into the future and continue growing the already-significant contributions cord blood has had on health care research and practice.”
The 2011 opening of the Cord Blood Bank of Arkansas at UAMS ensured that Arkansans statewide have the opportunity to donate cord blood cells for their family’s use, public use or for research purposes. Cord blood cells can be quickly, safely and painlessly collected from umbilical cords following the birth of healthy children. The umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid, all typically discarded after birth, are rich in primitive cells that can be collected without destroying embryos. Umbilical cord blood has already aided in finding treatment for aplastic anemia, leukemia, lymphoma, lupus, thalassemia, sickle cell disease, spinal cord injury and Crohn’s disease, while research is still ongoing to find treatment for corneal degeneration, heart disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Jennifer Maune, member and past president of the CBBA Advisory Board who helped write the Arkansas legislation to begin storing and researching cord blood, brought her 6-month-old daughter, Juliana, on stage while explaining the cord blood donation process.
“Because of her birth we were able to donate her cord blood,” Maune said. “Because of her life, we can give life to someone else. Something that was formerly considered medical waste and thrown away can save a life. It is so easy to donate; it is as simple as taking the time to fill out an application and taking the kit that they send you to the hospital when you deliver the baby. But unfortunately not everyone knows about this life-saving option, so there is much work to do.”
Maune introduced three others in attendance who have benefitted from cord blood donations — Amelia Odle, Hardin Bale and Ian Goza.
“The hope is that one day all prospective mothers will choose to donate their cord blood,” Maune said. “We need to get this message out to increase the awareness of cord blood donations and provide vital funding to the CBBA. The work is expensive but the rewards are life giving.”
For more information about cord blood, call (855) 854-2222 or (501) 686-6271 or visit www.cordbloodbankarkansas.org.