CBR & NAHN Partner to Heighten Awareness of the Importance of Preserving Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells

SAN BRUNO, CA & WASHINGTON, DC – July 20, 2015 – Cord Blood Registry® (CBR®and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses® (NAHN®) announced today that they have entered into a collaboration focused on educating health care providers and the public about the importance of preserving umbilical cord blood stem cells. Through active counseling to promote informed decision making by Latina expectant mothers, CBR and NAHN will strive to reach an increasing number of Hispanic families that may benefit from the storage or donation of cord blood stem cells.

Umbilical cord blood is a plentiful source of powerful stem cells that can be collected from the cord and placenta shortly after birth. The use of umbilical cord blood as a source of hematopoietic stem cells for allogeneic and autologous transplantation has increased markedly over the last 30 years. Cord blood stem cells have been used in the treatment of more than 80 diseases. Cord blood stem cell therapy is being investigated in patients for regenerative medicine applications in FDA-regulated clinical studies. However, more than 90% of cord blood is presently discarded, limiting the potential for therapeutic use and additional research.

Many expectant parents have the option of preserving their newborn's umbilical cord blood in either public or private banks. These parents often look to their healthcare providers for accurate, comprehensive information and their decisions may be influenced by culture and language. To help Hispanic families make an informed decision, it is critical that healthcare providers be able to counsel and offer bilingual educational materials about both banking options. Early education is very important because expectant parents need sufficient time to consider this personal decision, particularly when it comes to donating to a public bank, if that is an available option. 

"Given the growing demand for information and services related to cord blood storage and donation, it is imperative that NAHN members keep abreast of the scientific and clinical implications of this plentiful stem cell source. NAHN recognizes the importance of providing expectant parents with comprehensive information and educational materials regarding cord blood options," stated Daniel M. Suarez, MA, RN, President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses. “As part of their ongoing commitment to advancing medicine and women's health, nurses and other healthcare providers serving bilingual populations can make a valuable contribution with their advocacy and leadership," added Mr. Suarez.

"CBR's collaboration with NAHN is an innovative approach to broadening outreach to patients and providers," emphasized Geoffrey Crouse, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cord Blood Registry. "As the use of cord blood continues to expand in medical therapeutics and research uncovers more potential applications for stem cells, provider and patient education about cord blood options in Spanish is critical to advancing awareness and expediting life-saving research." The goal is to have more families nationwide donating and storing cord blood stem cells, not discarding them," noted Mr. Crouse.

The partnership will offer cord blood stem cell education and outreach to Hispanic nurses in the form of continuing medical education, materials support and online resources for those healthcare professionals working with Latino expectant parents. Providing information and resources from both public and family cord blood banking organizations can help patients make the decision that's best for them.

About National Association of Hispanic Nurses

The National Association of Hispanic Nurses® (NAHN®) is a 501(c)(3), non-profit professional association committed to the promotion of the professionalism and dedication of Hispanic nurses by providing equal access to educational, professional, and economic opportunities for Hispanic nurses. NAHN is also dedicated to the improvement of the quality of health and nursing care of Hispanic consumers. For more information, visit nahnnet.org