A recent national edition of CBS This Morning featured a segment on the Kiryas Joel Orthodox community and their impact on donating convalescent plasma to aid in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The segment (linked below) shares their story AND their weekly trips to our Bethlehem donor center. They used a lot of footage from our events and it’s so great to see many of our staff on screen!
To date, in total, we have collected 836 doses and have shipped 283 to our hospitals and the Kiryas Joel community is responsible for most of those units. They are also now helping us to build up our whole blood inventory as we held our first drive this past Sunday collecting over 80 units at a drive-in Montvale, NJ. The Kiryas Joel donors also continue to provide accolades on our customer service and compassion.
The patient featured in the above segment was treated at Hunterdon Medical Center. At the end of the segment, CBS referred to an initiative called “The Fight Is In Us”, that is being funded by the Gates Foundation to create broader awareness of convalescent plasma and direct potential donors to their nearest blood or plasma center. The program was officially launched this past Sunday and will be followed up with public service announcements featuring various celebrities. While the future demand for convalescent plasma is uncertain at this point, the initial findings of the clinical study are anecdotally encouraging. We are expecting to have new donors contacting us through this site, so let’s prepare accordingly!
Under the leadership of our Medical Director, Dr. Kuttner, some of our earliest work on convalescent plasma was done with Dr. Gustav De Ridder from Geisinger Health System. Dr. De Ridder was interviewed by the Washington Post this past week and below is the article that provides some insight into the Geisinger system and their work with convalescent plasma. They have been great partners in helping us identify plasma donors and also helping with on-site blood drives to address our inventory needs.
Below are several quotes from our Miller-Keystone Board expressing their pride and appreciation for your efforts:
“Thanks so much for sharing this piece. So very proud of the team at MKBC and this particular initiative in helping to save so many lives!
Kudos to all involved – especially those on the front lines.” – Ron Ticho, President – Advanced MarCom Strategies
“Pete, what a great story! The team has impacted countless lives in this work, and should be very proud of all they have accomplished. Our community is incredibly fortunate to have Miller- Keystone leading the way!” – Bob Begliomini – Senior Vice President , LVHN, President, Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg
“You and your entire staff continue to make us feel proud to be a part of the MKBC team which saves lives every day.
Great work!” – Everitt F. Binns, Ph.D. – Retired Eastern Pennsylvania EMS Council
“Great story. Hats off to all of the great employees of MKBC. Please relay to all of them that the Board is extremely appreciative of their tremendous work and commitment. Thanks for sharing.” – John Haney, Retired Grand View Hospital and MKBC Board Chairman