Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Connects Patient To Donor Through Life-saving Program “Be The Match”

PRESS RELEASE

Contact:
Jayde Glenn, Marketing Director, 760-499-3910, jayde.glenn@rrh.org

Tuesday, August 28, 2018, RIDGECREST, California: Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is working in partnership with Be The Match® to give people the opportunity to become a bone marrow donor. The hospital is inviting the community to one of two Be The Match Registry® drive events where they will go through the sign-up process and receive information on becoming a donor. Donors are required to be between ages 18-44 years of age, in general good healthy and willing to donate to any patient.

  • Wednesday, September 5th (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM) at the Outpatient Pavilion Lobby, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital
  • Thursday, September 6th (7:00 AM – 11:00 AM) in the David Mechtenberg Conference Center, Ridgecrest Regional Hospital

After signing up, registrants will receive a swab kit in the mail. The swabs are tested by doctors for a minimum of 6 basic HLA (human leukocyte antigen) markers, which are matched to the patient’s HLA. This is much more complex than matching blood types. HLA is a protein – or marker – found on most cells in your body. Your immune system uses HLA markers to know which cells belong in your body and which do not. There are many HLA markers that make a person’s tissue type unique; however, matching certain markers is what is critical to a successful transplant.

Approximately, 8% of members who complete additional testing will go on to donate. If a member is asked to donate, that means they are the closest HLA match to the patient – the best donor.

"There are certain opportunities in life when you have the ability to impact a complete stranger and change their life for the better”, said Shantell Utley, RRH Cancer Center Clinical Manager. “This is one of those times. What if I told you that by signing up for "Be the Match" you could potentially be a match for one of the approximately 20,000 patients nationwide waiting for a match? Would you want someone to be willing to do this if it were your child, your mother, your spouse? By participating in the "Be the Match" event you have the opportunity to potentially change one persons life for the better and possibly save their life. Please join us for this very important event for the thousands of patients waiting for a match."

Joyce Valdez, Community Outreach Specialist for City of Hope Medical Center - “This event is important because anyone has the cure in them. At City of Hope alone we have about 200 patients relying on a complete stranger to save their life. Out of the 18 million people on Be the Match Registry, NOT 1 person is a match for our patients. This is just one hospital, can you imagine nationwide. Just a simple form to fill out and mail out your swab kit will hold the results to see if you are a life-saving match for someone.”

Tera Moorehead, RRH Director of Community Outreach -"I went to a Be the Match event a few years ago to sign up in hopes of being a match for a friend. It was very easy and only took about 10 minutes. Recently, another friend was in need of a match and since I was already signed up I didn't have to redo anything but I wanted to help in bringing awareness to this amazing program in hopes of it ultimately leading to finding more matches for those waiting. Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is amazing and continues to provide various community outreach programs and services to help those in our community. Be the Match is a great way to give back and help others, not just to those in our community, but to those all over our country."

For people with life-threatening blood cancers – like leukemia and lymphoma – or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Matchconnects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow.

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Notes to Editors:

About Ridgecrest Regional Hospital

Ridgecrest Regional Hospital is a nonprofit, full service, acute care hospital, accredited by DNV Healthcare. Located in Ridgecrest, California, it was founded in 1945 by Dr. Thomas A. Drummond, who realized the need for medical care, to support the then recently established Naval Ordnance Test Station. Today, RRH continues as the only regional healthcare system providing a variety of services to the rural communities of the Southern Sierra. Our Vision is to be a leader with other healthcare providers in offering the highest quality, patient-centered, affordable healthcare and wellness services to the people of our service area.

The RRH health system currently consists of 78 active medical staff members and advance practice professionals, offering multi-specialty healthcare and state-of-the-art facilities, including Gastroenterology Lab, Cardiology, Dermatology, Orthopedics, Pediatrics and an accredited Sleep Lab, to name a few. The hospital also offers a Cancer Center, as part of an ongoing oncology affiliation with UC Davis Health Cancer Care Network, and is one of only a number of hospitals across the country to install FDA-approved state-of-the-art automated breast screening ultrasound technology in the Women’s Imaging Department, clinically proven to increase cancer detection by 35.7%. The hospital has been awarded the ACR gold seal of accreditation in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, representing the highest level of image quality and patient safety and the Emergency Department has been designated by Kern County Public Health, as a Level IV trauma center, providing stabilization and advanced trauma life support.

Future plans include a new Emergency Room, new helipad for air ambulance services and construction is currently underway for the relocation of the South Medical Plaza. For more information, visit us at: rrh.org/ and Facebook.com/RidgecrestRegionalHospital.

About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.

Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.