Kaiser Permanente is the first hospital in the East Bay to offer the program through a partnership with the Cleveland Cord Blood Center
SAN LEANDRO, Calif., July 13, 2021 – Expectant parents who deliver at the Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center will now have an opportunity to donate their babies’ umbilical cord blood as part of an expanded partnership with the Cleveland Cord Blood Center.
The Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center becomes the second Kaiser Permanente hospital on the West Coast to offer the Cleveland Cord Blood Center donation and collection program, which is critical for life-saving treatments. Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center has been a Cleveland Cord Blood Center collection site since 2017.
Cord blood is used to treat dozens of diseases and disorders such as anemia, leukemia, lymphoma and sickle-cell disease. Researchers also rely on cord blood stem cells to find and develop new cell therapy treatments.
The San Leandro collection center is supported by the California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program, a statewide public program to collect a genetically diverse bank of cord blood units that will then be made available to patients in the U.S. and around the world for lifesaving transplantations.
“Our expectant parents now have the opportunity to participate in a program that can help provide life-saving treatments to many simply by donating their babies’ cord blood at birth,” said Debra Flores, RN, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente, Southern Alameda County. “We are proud to partner with the Cleveland Cord Blood Center to help expand this program to our hospital so we can create a more diverse pool of donors.”
Expanding the diversity of cord blood units
Cord blood collections at the Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center, located in one of the most diverse communities in the East Bay, will help expand Cleveland Cord Blood Center’s diverse inventory of cord blood. A more diverse pool of donors increases the chances of a match for life-saving treatments, particularly for minority groups and patients of mixed heritage. Donations from African American, Asian and Hispanic populations are underrepresented in public cord blood banks.
If parents agree, the umbilical cord blood is collected at the child’s birth, a simple and painless process. A Cleveland Cord Blood Center-trained team then collects and prepares the donated cord blood for shipment to the Northeast Ohio center. Units approved for clinical use will be processed, stored and listed on an international registry which is accessible by physicians worldwide. In addition to umbilical cord blood used for transplantation in patients with life-threatening disorders, stem-cell rich cord blood units from Cleveland Cord Blood Center are increasingly used in the development of cell therapy treatments for a variety of diseases.
A statewide partnership
“The California Umbilical Cord Blood Collection Program’s focus on the statewide collection of cord blood units from diverse populations for public banking is aligned with our efforts to expand the diversity of inventory of units available for transplant,” said Marcie Finney, Executive Director of the Cleveland Cord Blood Center.
Kaiser Permanente hospitals continue to look for ways to be a part of life-saving treatment programs like this one.
“This is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in our community and beyond,” said Kapil Dhingra, MD, Physician-in-Chief, Kaiser Permanente San Leandro Medical Center. “We hope the diversity of our patients can help expand the pool of cord blood donors as we look for more ways to meet the growing global demand for umbilical cord blood matches.”
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve approximately 12.5 million members in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health.
About the Cleveland Cord Blood Center
One of only eight FDA licensed cord blood centers in the U.S., the Cleveland Cord Blood Center collects, processes, stores and distributes stem-cell rich umbilical cord blood for transplantation in patients with life threatening disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma and immune system disorders. In addition, Cleveland Cord Blood Center cord blood units are being used by our scientists and other research organizations in the exploration of the virtually unlimited lifesaving and life-giving possibilities. The Cleveland Cord Blood Center’s commitment to a diverse inventory of cord blood helps enhance the availability of a match for life-saving treatments, particularly for minority groups and patients of mixed heritage. Cord blood collection hospitals are located in Cleveland, Ohio; Atlanta, Georgia; as well as San Francisco and San Leandro, California. The organization’s headquarters and research and development laboratory are located in the Cleveland area.