The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank recently received a three-year $1.4 million grant from the Office of Health Resources and Services Administration within the US Department of Health and Human Services. The contract is for collection and maintenance of genetically diverse, high-quality umbilical cord blood units, especially those from minority parents. These cord blood units will be included in the National Cord Blood Inventory, where they will be available to the public for stem cell transplants.
“This contract will help us continue our very successful minority initiative to further increase donations and improve the chances for minority patients to find a genetic match,” says Donna Regan, executive director.
Cord blood is collected from the umbilical cord and placenta after a baby is born. It is rich in adult stem cells, and is used to treat over 70 different diseases, including leukemia, lymphoma, and a wide variety of genetic and immune disorders.
The St. Louis Cord Blood Bank is part of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, and is one of the largest public cord blood banks in the world. It is a community-based program that serves the St. Louis region as well as eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. With more than 23,000 units in storage, it provides hope for those needing a stem cell transplant across America and around the world.