Minneapolis -- November 13, 2008
(From left to right) Michaela Rodgers of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) National Alumni Council, NMDP Chief Executive Officer Dr. Jeffrey Chell, and 13-year-old transplant recipient for sickle cell disease Kimberly Desir, who was a guest speaker at the reception.
For the first time in the organization’s history, The Marrow Foundation gathered leaders representing organizations from around the country to explore new and innovative ways to work together to meet the nation’s health needs through increased collaboration.
The Marrow Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), recently relocated from Washington, DC, to Minneapolis to better integrate with and support its partner.
(From left to right) Shawn Lewis of LifeSource with Doug Kingsriter, the president of The Marrow Foundation.
The inaugural stakeholder Forum was the first major effort in broadening the organization’s reach and increasing collaboration with other health and minority organizations. The aim of the event was to collectively reduce barriers to health care, improve equity of access and minimize health disparities. The second day of the event featured customized roundtables.
- Equity in access to health care and addressing health disparities by lowering barriers of all types, including financial barriers
- Diversifying the health care workforce pipeline
- Supporting community health initiatives to eliminate disparities and strengthen the health of U.S. communities
"Building relationships with these important organizations and agencies cannot happen in a vacuum," said Gwen McFaden, director of foundation relations at The Marrow Foundation. "The Forum was a great first step in starting the dialogue and exploring future mutually-beneficial partnership opportunities."
The state of Minnesota was well represented, including Minn. Sen. Linda Berglin (District 61) and Mitchell Davis Jr., director of Office of Minority and Multicultural Health at the Minnesota Department of Health.
Community leader and attendee Clarence Jones of QHealth.
The collaboration and discussions at the Forum provided valuable feedback on how the NMDP and The Marrow Foundation can be a better neighbor, invested partner and an even stronger national resource for all patients in need throughout the United States.
"I learned a tremendous amount about the work of the NMDP at the Forum," said Mary Barr, executive director, Jimmie Johnson Foundation. “I also enjoyed the opportunity to brainstorm ways we may partner together in the future."