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Original Release 10/17/2012
Media Contact:
Northwest Hospital: Karen Peck | 206-368-1609 -
PSBC: David Larsen | 206-819-3469

PSBC and Northwest Hospital Partner in Cord Blood Program

SEATTLE, WA …Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC) have joined together in a program to collect umbilical cord blood from new mothers who have just given birth. This cord blood is an important source of stem cells that can be used in lifesaving cancer treatment and research. Northwest Hospital has offered new mothers the option of banking their own cord blood for several years, but this marks the first time the hospital also will give them the opportunity to donate cord blood to the public if they choose.

"We welcome the opportunity to partner with healthcare providers at Northwest Hospital’s Childbirth Center to create an on-site cord blood collection program," said Dr. James P. AuBuchon, president and CEO of PSBC. "Cord blood is rapidly emerging as an important source for stem cell transplants that can be used to treat patients with leukemia, lymphoma and certain inherited metabolic or immune system disorders."

Dr. Denise Cho, co-medical director of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwest Hospital said: "Northwest Hospital is dedicated to providing comprehensive, high quality care for the diverse community we serve. That includes a commitment to innovative clinical practices in women’s health and childbirth, as well as leadership in the successful treatment of cancer. This new collaboration with PSBC allows us to help others and to advance medical science."

"We want to acknowledge and thank Dr. Cho, Childbirth Center manager Kim Burns, and OB/GYN Dr. Akiko Kurachi for their leadership in helping bring this cord blood program to Northwest Hospital," AuBuchon noted. This partnership holds the promise of saving more lives, raising awareness about cord blood donation and increasing the availability of stem cells for transplantation."

Cord blood collection is a painless procedure that does not interfere with the birth or with mother-and-child bonding following delivery. There is no risk to either the mother or baby, and no cost associated with the donation. Families interested in donating cord blood at Northwest Hospital have several options for enrollment, depending on the baby’s due date, and should speak to their healthcare providers about how to set up a cord blood banking account.

General information about the cord blood program can also be found at:

Enrollment forms can be found at:

The new cord blood program at Northwest Hospital launched in mid-September. PSBC created the first umbilical cord blood program in the Pacific Northwest in 1997, and today has program partnerships with eight hospitals in the Washington state and one hospital in Oregon. A partnership with the Hawaii Cord Blood Program encompassing six hospitals has resulted in the banking of many donations by Asian Pacific Islanders. These expanding hospital partnerships create the opportunity to meet the needs of even more patients requiring stem cell transplants.

About Northwest Hospital & Medical Center

Founded in 1960, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center is a full-service, non-profit hospital located minutes north of downtown Seattle. With 281 licensed beds, more than 1,900 employees and all private rooms, it offers some of the most innovative, technologically advanced medical care available. Major clinical programs and services include: emergency services; critical care; cardiac care; neurosciences; stroke center; cancer care; childbirth services; bariatric surgery; sports medicine; medical rehabilitation; geropsychiatric center; diagnostic imaging; laboratory services; sleep medicine; and education and wellness programs, among others. In 2010, Northwest Hospital joined the UW Medicine health system. For more information about Northwest Hospital and its programs and services call (206) 364-0500 or visit

About Puget Sound Blood Center

Puget Sound Blood Center is an independent, community-based nonprofit organization with a tradition blending volunteerism, medical science and research to enhance transfusion medicine and improve patient care. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, the Blood Center serves patients in more than 70 hospitals and clinics in 14 Western Washington counties. Patients with leukemia, cancer, burns, hemophilia and traumatic injuries depend on Blood Center services, expertise and research. For more information, visit

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