PerkinElmer’s Fourth Annual Impact Day

Volunteers harvested butternut squash, beans, tomatoes &
cherries at Drumlin Farms.

Every year, employees around the globe from ViaCord and its parent company, PerkinElmer, participate in Impact Day. Impact Day focuses on local projects supporting areas of disease research, food, the environment, and newborn health.

Sorting donations at Project
Just Because

Continuing tradition, September 12th marked PerkinElmer’s fourth annual Impact Day. 200 employees from Massachusetts alone contributed over 500 hours of volunteer time for different outreach projects benefiting a range of social causes. Projects included harvesting produce for local food pantries, lending a hand weeding and watering at farms and gardens, sorting donations for families and individuals in need, and helping prepare nutritious meals for homebound individuals and families with chronic illnesses.

“Working at PerkinElmer, throughout the year you hear about the global impact our work has on other people’s lives. But being able to have a day where you can personally give back and make a difference for those in your community is extremely rewarding.”

Building dental kits for Room To Grow which supports low-income mothers & their kids.

PerkinElmer is committed to creating better outcomes in the community by making a difference through volunteering, philanthropy and employee engagement. Employees being able to have the opportunity to participate in this companywide initiative plays an important and critical role in building a strong camaraderie between employees and in advancing the company’s mission.

From September 13-15, participants from 29 countries gathered in Miami Beach for the 2019 Cord Blood Connect international congress to connect on cord blood.

Professionals, doctors, and researchers from across the industry came together to discuss important topics involving cord blood including banking, regenerative medicine, cellular manufacturing, quality control, donor selection, clinical trials, applications, challenges with regulatory, and more. This year it was critical to conference organizers to develop sessions centered around what is important when it comes to cord blood and not make it all about what’s new. To sum it up, conference organizers delivered, and it was well-received.

This year’s highlights included a keynote presentation by Dr. Hal Broxmeyer, who also received the CBA Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Eliane Gluckman, Mathew Farrow, and Joanne Kurtzberg. Also recognized was Anthony Filiano, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Marcus Center for Cellular cures at Duke University, who was presented with the Research Scholar Award. In this year’s President’s Session, Peter Marks, MD, PhD, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, discussed issues related to clinical trials, ethics, and regulations. ViaCord’s own Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs, Kate Falcon Girard, RN MSN attended and spoke at the congress as part of a panel on the quality of cord blood inventory and how to maintain and improve it.

It was exciting to have the opportunity to not only attend, but also speak at such a great venue. The congress was a great way to reconnect with colleagues and meet new faces – it’s a thrilling time to be a part of the cord blood industry.

– Kate Falcon Girard, RN MSN

Attendees had the opportunity to partake in various educational and training workshops as well as poster sessions, abstract presentations, and exhibits. Well-known industry names and newer faces networked, celebrating milestones and cutting-edge work being made with cord blood. The enthusiasm from everyone who attended and presented played a key role in making this year’s Cord Blood Connect a success.

Meeting abstracts from the congress can be viewed on Stem Cells Translational Medicine. If you didn’t have the chance to attend and would like to check them out – or if you did attend and can’t wait to see them again – they can be viewed here.

Cancer Awareness Month

September is cancer awareness month, and we want to recognize everyone, big and small, who is fighting strong to beat cancer.

In honor of childhood cancer awareness month, everyone is encouraged to wear gold in support of the American Childhood Cancer Organization’s ‘Go Gold’ campaign, which aims to bring awareness and raise proceeds to help kids battling cancer. With about 15,780 children under the age of 20 in the U.S. being diagnosed with cancer each year1, it’s important more now than ever to help eliminate it.

September is also blood cancer awareness month. Started by Congress in 2010, blood cancer awareness month brings recognition to leukemia and lymphoma. Even though 14,000 people are diagnosed each month with these blood cancers, we are seeing the survival rate grow as science progresses.2

As our way of bringing awareness to cancer this month, we want to share how the healing potential within umbilical cord blood stem cells has made a difference for some families facing cancer. Cord blood stem cells have the unique ability to help rebuild a healthy immune system damaged by disease. They can be used in the treatment of nearly 80 different diseases today, including certain cancers and blood disorders.3

Hear from one ViaCord family how they used cord blood from one of their children to treat Leukemia for another.

References:

  1. (2019, April 5). US Childhood Cancer Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.acco.org/us-childhood-cancer-statistics/
  2. (2018, November 15). September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://www.nfcr.org/blog/september-blood-cancer-awareness/
  3. Moise K Jr. Umbilical cord stem cells. Obstet Gynecol. 2005;106(6):1393-1407.

Disclaimer: Banking cord blood does not guarantee that treatment will work and only a doctor can determine when it can be used. Cord tissue stem cells have not been used in treatment yet. Research is ongoing. For more details and references click here.

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After years of searching for an answer, Patrick’s cerebral palsy diagnosis provided the Rooney family with the definitive answer they had been looking for.  Read More

ICYMI – New Autism & Cord Blood Clinical Trial Results are out.

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