October 18, 2010
Individuals and organizations from across the United States received awards from the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP) for their critical efforts to help more patients receive life-saving bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants.
The NMDP’s 2010 Awards – which recognize a range of outstanding contributions, from recruiting potential bone marrow donors to raising public awareness – were presented on Oct. 15 at the organization’s 23rd Annual Council Meeting in Minneapolis. This year’s winners include:
- Health Care Partner Award – The American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT), Arlington Heights, Ill., for working closely with the NMDP to support issues regarding access, capacity reimbursement and awareness. Through this long-standing, collaborative partnership, the ASBMT and NMDP have accomplished numerous joint strategic projects focused on coding and reimbursement for transplant, the development of clinical evidence-based reviews and guidelines, and seeking Medicare coverage for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
- Allison Atlas Award – The Austin family, Brooklyn, N.Y., whose efforts to raise awareness about the need for more bone marrow donors helped recruit more than 13,000 potential donors nationwide – more than 80 percent of whom are of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
- Volunteer Innovation Award – Kerry Ellis, Rutland, Vt., for launching and coordinating Vermont’s first marrow donor program – bringing the opportunity to help save lives to thousands of area residents.
- Patient Support/Advocacy Award – Valerie Sun, Thousand Oaks, Calif., a bone marrow transplant recipient who has dedicated the last 11 years to sharing her story of hope with other patients in need of unrelated bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplants.
- Donor Management Innovation Award – Michigan Blood, Grand Rapids, Mich., for outstanding efforts to improve donor availability and reduce the number of days between when a potential donor is identified as a match to when they are deemed healthy and prepared to donate.
- Donor Management Innovation Award – St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, Calif., for extraordinary commitment to the NMDP and members of the Be The Match Registry®, and for increasing both bone marrow and PBSC (peripheral blood stem cell) collections by 66 percent over the last 5 years.
- Admiral Zumwalt Corporate Award – Aetna, Hartford, Conn., for implementing employee education sessions, conducting and organizing fundraisers, and holding in person and online donor registry drives resulting in more than $160,000 raised and 120 donor registry drives that have added 1,600 employees to the Be The Match Registry.
- Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr. Award – The Icla da Silva Foundation, Long Island City, N.Y., for incredible efforts to add more than 38,000 new potential donors to the Be The Match Registry each year.
- Lifeline Award – Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT), for his outstanding leadership and continued support of the bone marrow and cord blood transplant community. Senator Dodd was one of the six lead sponsors of the Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2010, which authorizes the C.W. Bill Young Transplantation Program (Program) and the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI).
- Excellence in New Media Award – (it) magazine, a nonprofit, multimedia organization based in Pasadena, Calif., for becoming a highly collaborative partner and eagerly working to find additional ways to introduce cross promotion of NMDP efforts and collaboration.
- Excellence in Local Media Award – WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, for a two-part series on NMDP and Be The Match that reached hundreds of thousands of viewers.
- Excellence in National Media Award – ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, for its episode featuring a bone marrow transplant recipient that inspired nearly 10,000 people to join the Be The Match Registry.
- Jeffrey Mark Harris Achievement Award – Claudia Rutt, DKMS, for her instrumental role in the development of DKMS. Under her leadership, DKMS has become the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, with nearly 2.5 million registered potential donors. Claudia’s unwavering commitment to helping patients get the transplant they need has made her a world-renowned champion in the field of unrelated bone marrow transplantation.
“Thousands of patients with life-threatening diseases like leukemia and lymphoma depend on the NMDP, and our Be The Match Registry, to save their lives. We could not meet this enormous responsibility without the dedication and commitment of the individuals and organizations we have recognized this year in our award program,” said Jeffrey W. Chell, M.D., chief executive officer of the NMDP. “The tireless efforts of individual volunteers, corporations, professional associations, patient families and recruitment organizations enable us to help more patients receive the life-saving transplants they need.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Hi-resolution photos from the award ceremony are available upon request. Please contact Catherine Claeys at 612-455-1719 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)
As a leader in the field of unrelated marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) is dedicated to ensuring all patients who need a transplant receive access to this potentially life-saving treatment. Headquartered in Minneapolis, the nonprofit organization has been entrusted by the federal government through the C.W. Bill Young Transplantation Program to operate the national registry, publicly known as the Be The Match Registry, which provides a single point of access for transplant centers and patients to marrow donors and cord blood units. The organization also facilitates transplants worldwide; supports a global network of hospitals, blood centers, public cord blood banks, laboratories and recruitment centers; conducts research; and provides education and support to patients, donors and health care professionals. The NMDP has facilitated more than 40,000 transplants since operation began in 1987. For more information, visit www.marrow.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.