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Partnership Strikes a Cord
Canadian Blood Services’ cord blood program and The Ottawa Hospital will provide increased hope for stem cell patients

November 5, 2012 (OTTAWA) – Canada’s first national public umbilical cord blood bank is one step closer to realization thanks to a new partnership between Canadian Blood Services and The Ottawa Hospital. The Ottawa Hospital will be the first collection site for the national cord blood bank, playing a central role in the success of the program. This partnership will assist Canadian Blood Services with the recruitment of potential mothers and the collection of their baby’s donated cord blood during the validation and testing phase of the program.

“We are honoured to have The Ottawa Hospital as our first collection hospital. We look forward to continuing a long and productive working relationship,” says Dr. Graham Sher, Chief Executive Officer at Canadian Blood Services. “This partnership underscores the collaborative effort our organizations have taken to launch a national public cord blood bank - one that offers more opportunities to find a match and save more lives.”

Providing Canadians with a new national public cord blood bank will help close the gap in Canadian Blood Services’ ability to find matches for patients through our stem cell network – OneMatch. This is especially important to Canadians as many stem cell patients are from diverse populations, particularly Aboriginal, Black and multi-ethnic. These patients often have increased complexities when finding a matching donor.

“The Ottawa Hospital is proud to be the first collection site in Canada for the national public cord blood bank and is pleased to join forces with Canadian Blood Services on this important initiative. By working together, we can provide increased hope for patients waiting for stem cell transplants in our community and across the country. ” says Dr. Jack Kitts, President and CEO at The Ottawa Hospital.

Working with the OneMatch Public Cord Blood Bank, The Ottawa Hospital will begin recruiting volunteer mothers and collecting their baby’s donated cord blood units to be publically banked starting in the spring of 2013. Healthy pregnant women, 18 years of age or older, will be able to donate their baby’s cord blood with signed consent to any patient in need.

Canadian Blood Services is currently asking healthy moms who are delivering at The Ottawa Hospital, General and Civic campuses, to donate their baby’s cord blood during the validation phase until March 2013. This testing phase is to ensure that the OneMatch Public Cord Blood Bank runs at the highest quality when it launches in the spring of 2013. For more information on the OneMatch Public Cord Blood Bank, please visit www.blood.ca/cordblood.

About Canadian Blood Services OneMatch Stem Cell & Marrow Network
Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network is a program dedicated to recruiting healthy, committed volunteer donors for patients in need of blood (hematopoietic) stem cells. OneMatch also conducts searches for matched, unrelated donors for patients; ensures donors are healthy and able to donate; and, coordinates the collection and delivery of stem cells in Canada and around the world. As an accredited member of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA), OneMatch represents an important part of an international group of 71 registries and 48 cord blood banks that transmit their donor HLA typing results to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW). As a result, when searching on behalf of Canadian patients, OneMatch has access to more than 20 million volunteer donors in 48 countries and more than 550,000 cord blood units from 47 cord banks in 31 countries. As part of Canadian Blood Services, the provincial and territorial Ministries of Health provide operational funding to OneMatch. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.onematch.ca.

About The Ottawa Hospital
The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) is a bilingual multi-campus, health sciences centre offering comprehensive, high quality, patient-focused health-care services to a community of 1.2 million people in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. With over 1,100 beds and an annual budget over $1 Billion, TOH is one of the largest teaching and research hospitals in Canada. To meet the high demand for its services, it relies on a dedicated and compassionate team of 12,000 employees, 1,200 physicians and more than 1,700 volunteers. The Ottawa Hospital is renowned for its leadership in patient care, research, education and for its investment in state-of-the-art facilities and technology. Working together with the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, and other partners, TOH is gaining national and international recognition for high quality patient care, teaching and research. www.ottawahospital.on.ca

For more information contact:
Annie Barrette
Communications Specialist
Canadian Blood Services
T: (705) 688-7341
C: (705) 665-6514
Hazel Harding
Communications Advisor
The Ottawa Hospital
T: (613) 737-8460


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