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Susquehanna Life

Geisinger Medical Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program Receives Designation

Apr 10, 2015 12:18PM ● By Erica Shames

Geisinger Medical Center’s Bone Marrow Transplant Program has been designated a National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match® Low Volume Transplant Center and now has access to the Be The Match Registry®, the world’s largest and most diverse bone marrow registry.

Geisinger Medical Center is the only NMDP/Be The Match program in central Pennsylvania which can connect bone marrow recipients with donors throughout the world.

In recognition of this designation, Geisinger Medical Center will host a bone marrow registry drive in partnership with Be The Match on Monday, April 27 from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Participants complete the registry with a simple cheek swab, and the entire process takes approximately 15 minutes. Registration stations will be located in Geisinger Medical Center’s Abigail Lobby and the HfAM Hallway, located near the Atrium Café.

The hospital was selected as a low volume transplant center by meeting the rigorous quality standards expected by NMDP/Be The Match. Some of these criteria include:

Medical directors with extensive prior transplantation experience

Nurses who are trained and experienced in the care of transplant patients

Experienced laboratories that meet the high standards set by professional laboratory organizations

A coordinator and patient advocate who are familiar with the issues of transplantation from an unrelated donor

“As an NMDP/Be The Match transplant center, Geisinger patients will now have access to more potential donors beyond just a family member or friend,” said Sharif Khan, M.D., co-director, Geisinger Bone Marrow Transplant Program. “Approximately 70 percent of patients don’t have a match in their family and rely on an unrelated donor to save their life. NMDP/Be The Match offers Geisinger patients access to more than 22.5 million potential donors and 601,000 cord blood units on U.S. and global registries.”

Bone marrow and stem cell transplants offer patients potential cures for immune disorders and blood cancers, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphoma.

The treatment process may involve using one’s own cells (autologous) or cells from a related family member or unrelated donor (allogeneic). When an exact match is unavailable, healthy bone marrow and stem cells can come from a donor whose cells are the closest exact matches for the patient. The NMDP/Be The Match works with designated transplant centers such as Geisinger Medical Center to connect patients with potential donors.

If registrants are unable to attend the bone marrow registry drive, they are urged to register online at http://join.bethematch.org/PASaves

About Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®. As one of the nation’s largest rural health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 3 million residents throughout 48 counties in central, south-central and northeast Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of approximately 23,500 employees, including a 1,200-member multi-specialty group practice, nine hospital campuses, two research centers and a 467,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $7.7 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy. The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.

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