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Be The Match Recognizes Individuals and Organizations Working to Save Lives Through Cell Therapy

November 27 2023

Minneapolis, Minn.— (November 27, 2023)— National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP)/Be The Match®, today announced the recipients of its annual NMDP/Be The Match Awards at The ONE Forum 2023. The awards honor individuals, groups, NMDP/Be The Match Network members or organizations working to increase awareness or access to potentially life-saving cell therapy. 

The 2023 NMDP/Be The Match Award recipients are: 

  • Dennis Confer Innovate Award: Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil
    Dr. Mukherjee’s idea for a new approach to cancer treatment led to groundbreaking research that has the potential to transform outcomes for patients with AML and other blood cancers.
  • Simplify Award: Stanford Health Care Epic BMT IT Team, SHC BMT Donor Search Team, HLA Lab
    The teams at Stanford partnered with NMDP/Be The Match on a pilot project that resulted in automating patient data entry into MatchSource® using electronic health record data.
  • Be There Award: GVHD Alliance 
    The GVHD Alliance supports patients after transplant by connecting patients, caregivers and health care providers to relevant graft-versus-host disease information, support services and to each other.
  • Grow Award: Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) Fraternity
    The fraternity’s leadership and chapters around the country have dedicated themselves to growing the registry and increasing awareness among people who are 18 to 24 years old. SAE’s efforts have led to over 11,000 new registry members and more than 20 donors so far.
  • Service Award: John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center
    The Hackensack apheresis and collection center staff consistently assist NMDP/Be The Match with urgent needs. Their support keeps donations on track to ensure patients get the product they need when they need it.
  • Thrive Award: Marrow Collection Program Alliance (Marrow Alliance)
    This multi-faceted group of experienced clinicians and coordinators tackles some of the biggest challenges in marrow harvests. Their work allows more patients to receive a high-quality product and the best possible chance for event-free survival.
  • Lives Award: Sarah Cannon Transplant and Cellular Therapy Network
    As a large integrated network that cares for transplant, cell therapy and leukemia patients, the team at Sarah Cannon provides enhanced access to patients who need treatment.
  • Equality Award: Kristin Akin
    Kristin is a caregiver, a courier and an advocate for NMDP/Be The Match. After losing two sons to a rare immune disorder, Kristin became a passionate supporter of the mission and helped the organization secure an unprecedented funding increase from Congress which supports increased donor recruitment, increased patient support at the point of diagnosis, and better outcomes for those patients.

Award winners were selected for their innovative work in advocating for patients and donors, growing the presence of NMDP/Be The Match within their community, improving understanding around the transplant process and increasing awareness of cell therapy programs.

“We are honored to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of this year’s NMDP/Be The Match Award winners,” said Amy Ronneberg, Chief Executive Officer for NMDP/Be The Match. “The dedication that these remarkable people and organizations have shown in supporting our mission is truly inspiring and the results of their efforts have a real impact in saving lives through cell therapy.”

The awards were announced this month at The ONE Forum 2023. You can learn more about NMDP/Be The Match’s mission here.

About NMDP/Be The Match®:

NMDP/Be The Match® is a global leader working every day to save lives through cellular therapy. For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other blood disorders like sickle cell, a cure exists. NMDP/Be The Match connects patients with a matching donor for a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. The Be The Match Registry® is the most diverse registry in the world and includes both adult donors willing to donate to a stranger in need and stored cord blood units. In addition, NMDP/Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant. NMDP/Be The Match is also a global leader in research through the CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®)—a collaboration with Medical College of Wisconsin, investing in and managing research studies that improve patient outcomes and advance the future of care.