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New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) is likely most known for its blood and plasma collection services, but it’s not the organization’s only priority. Consisting of nine divisions ranging from a research institute to a biotechnology sector, NYBCe also trains and educates the next generation of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy leaders.

Let’s take a closer look at NYBCe’s educational opportunities, industry resources, and strategic initiatives.

Educational Opportunities

Summer Undergraduate Research Program 

NYBCe’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program is 10-week course that allows undergraduate students to work side-by-side with investigators at the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI) throughout the summer. Fields of study include hematology, infectious disease, epidemiology, transfusion medicine and more.

Students work on self-defined projects and then present their findings during a formal seminar at the end of the summer.

Alexander S. Wiener Lecture 

Each year, NYBCe hosts the Alexander S. Wiener Lecture. Dr. Wiener was an internationally recognized leader in forensic medicine, serology, and immunogenetics. His research led to the development of transfusion methods that have saved the lives of countless newborns. Dr. Wiener passed away in 1976, and this annual lecture has been named in his honor.

The 41st Annual Wiener Lecture is currently available on-demand via NYBCe’s website. This webinar, titled “A Cure Within Reach: Genomic Therapies for Hemoglobin Disorders,” was originally presented by Alexis Thompson, MD MPH, on Thursday, October 3, 2019.

Essentials of Transfusion Medicine Webinar Series  

For many years, NYBCe has offered a week-long course on transfusion medicine practice. The 2020 course was canceled due to COVID-19 — but it has been reinvented as the upcoming Essentials of Transfusion Medicine Webinar Series.

Every Wednesday afternoon starting January 13, 2021 through June 16, this lecture-based program will cover topics ranging from immunohematology, cell therapy, hemostasis, and more. It will also cover critical blood center processes, such as donor recruitment, blood component preparation, and donor infectious disease testing. Participants who complete the course and submit an evaluation will receive a P.A.C.E. certificate of attendance.

Keep an eye on NYBCe’s website for registration details and course information.

Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program 

In addition to NYBCe’s annual course on transfusion medicine practice, the non-profit has also organized a Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program. This ACGME-accredited, one-year program has trained more than 100 specialists over the last 35 years.

The Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program trains physicians who are striving to complete the American Board of Pathology’s blood banking/ transfusion medicine subspecialty certification. Participants spend a year at the New York Blood Center and at one of three partnership hospitals completing formal rotations in blood services, collections, and regulatory affairs; hospital transfusion services; coagulation; and more.

Division Specific Educational Opportunities

Several divisions of NYBCe offer their own educational opportunities to train the next generation of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy leaders.

Community Blood Center

CBC offers a wide range of professional education opportunities including P.A.C.E.-accredited courses on blood banking, physician training, blood center tours, clinical rotations, and medical consultations. CBC also provides year-round professional development through virtual group learning opportunities called AABB eCasts and offers supplemental blood bank instruction to local Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) programs via their Essentials in Blood Banking courses.

Blood Bank of Delmarva

BBD shares NYBCe’s mission to nurture the next generation of industry leaders. Like CBC, this blood bank supports local MLS and MLT programs through blood center tours, presentations, and laboratory samples. Blood center tours are also available to hospital staff, community groups, high school students, and others. BBD staff regularly speak at local and national conferences, such as AABB.

Upon request, BBD can also support individuals with hands-on clinical rotations and medical consultations.

Nebraska Community Blood Bank

NCBB, one-half of NYBCe’s Innovative Blood Resources, offers a range of medical consultations, online continuing education, clinical rotations, physician training, and AABB eCasts. The blood center’s staff also speaks at local and national conferences and hosts technical advisory meetings to keep hospital staff up to date on the latest industry developments.

In addition to serving the professional development needs of the blood banking industry and transfusion medicine community, NCBB’s staff works with business and civic groups, high schools, and health-related service organizations to present at meetings, luncheons, or workshops on a variety of topics.

Memorial Blood Center

MBC is the other half of NYBCe’s Innovative Blood Resources and offers similar education opportunities to professionals in Minnesota. For example, MBC provides medical consultation, continuing education, clinical rotations, physician training, blood center tours, technical advisory meetings, and AABB eCasts. Like NCBB, MBC also participates in community outreach and their staff regularly speaks at local and national conferences.

Rhode Island Blood Center

Like other NYBCe divisions, RIBC proudly hosts continuing education courses, AABB eCasts, blood center tours, clinical rotations, and medical consultations. Their technical experts also speak at local and national conferences. In addition, RIBC supports residents from local pathology and hem/onc residency programs by providing extended tours, observation and discussion in several blood center departments.

Finally, the blood center offers a “tech for a day” program to students at local CLS and CLT programs. This hands-on program provides an extended tour of Rhode Island Blood Center, and includes observation and discussion of a variety of the blood center’s departments. RIBC also provides laboratory samples to these programs in order to enrich student’s laboratory experience and skills.

Industry Resources

As another offering to the community, NYBCe publishes a variety of resources related to the fields of blood and biotherapies.

The Blood Experts Blog, for example, is regularly updated with information about upcoming educational opportunities and ground-breaking research. There are also informative articles covering topics like COVID-19, cell therapy, genotyping and more.

In addition to the Blood Experts Blog, NYBCe also directly showcases its investigators’ research — either by making it available for download or providing convenient links to resources on their website. The organization recently released a variety of work on sickle cell disease following the announcement of Dr. Karina Yazdanbakhsh and the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute’s five-year $15.6M grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NYBCe also shared a variety of resources leading up to the AABB 2020 virtual event.

Strategic Initiatives

NYBCe’s educational opportunities aren’t just for colleagues and industry professionals — the organizations also works with young children to create the “blood donors of the future.”

The Little Doctors Program™ was created for students and faculty from elementary through middle school. Through this program, children learn about community service and the importance of organizations like NYBCe. Little Doctors also gives students a chance to organize a community blood drive. Hundreds of schools are now participating in the program, and students are learning about volunteerism as well as science.

How You Can Help

As a non-profit organization, NYBCe can’t train the next generation of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy leaders on their own. It relies on financial contributions in order to continue providing educational opportunities, sharing valuable industry resources, and managing its strategic initiatives.

More specifically, philanthropic contributions help NYBCe provide scholarships for its various professional education opportunities, like the Summer Undergraduate Research Program. They also go toward the Transfusion Medicine Fellowship Program, which helps prepare physicians for the American Board of Pathology’s subspecialty certification in blood banking and transfusion medicine.

With all of these educational offerings, free resources, and outreach programs, NYBCe demonstrates its commitment to not only supporting hospitals and patients with blood donations and blood products, but also training and educating future leaders in the field. As research continues to grow, change, and develop, NYBCe hopes to be at the forefront, aiding in the process as much as possible. They can’t do that without your help.

You can make a financial donation today to help educate and inspire the next generation of transfusion medicine and cellular therapy leaders.