Howard Milstein Brings Together FDNY Life-Saving Bone Marrow Donors with Recipients

May 10th, 2017

On May 5, 2017, Howard P. Milstein represented the Board of Trustees of New York Blood Center at the 13th Annual “Honor Roll of Life,” an event which recognizes FDNY members who have donated life-saving bone marrow to recipients. Howard paid tribute to the approximately 150 members of the FDNY who have donated bone marrow and saved 150 lives. The event was created through a long-standing friendship between New York Blood Center and Nick Scoppetta, the Former FDNY Commissioner, who subsequently served on the Board of Trustees of NYBC until his passing in 2016.

Howard P. Milstein has served on the Board of New York Blood Center for nearly 25 years and has been the Chairman of the Board for the past 14. Tens of thousands of lives have been saved during this period and Howard’s stewardship has brought this prestigious, essential community service into the 21st century.

New York Blood Center was founded by the Rockefeller Family over 50 years ago, including Governor Nelson Rockefeller, David Rockefeller, who organized the corporate community, and Rodman Rockefeller, who served on the Board of Trustees of NYBC. It was Rodman Rockefeller who encouraged NYBC to create an endowment and, as Chairman of the Board, Howard guided the investments and built the New York Blood Center’s $300 million endowment.

Under Howard’s leadership, NYBC adopted a strategic plan to diversify sources of blood for economic and health reasons, as well as serve the increasingly regional demands of hospital systems and the national blood supply. The organization expanded its reach in 2014 and 2016 to the mid and northwest regions of the country.

The National Cord Blood Program at Howard P. Milstein Cord Blood Center was founded in 1992 by Dr. Pablo Rubinstein to use cord blood as an alternative transplant source for patients who have no matched bone marrow donors.

  • NCBP is the first and largest public cord blood bank in the world
  • Serves a regional, national and international cord blood and stem cell collection, with processing and storage operations
  • Has banked more than 60,000 cord blood units and provided 4,900 recipients with cord blood units for transplantation
  • Provides cord blood units for research to scientists all over the world
  • More than 80 different specific diseases have been treated to date with NCBP cord blood
  • The Howard P. Milstein Cord Blood Center was instrumental in leading and advocating for the “Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005,” which was signed into law by President Bush. This legislation authorized new federal funding to establish a public cord blood banking network and a national inventory of 150 thousand high quality, ethnically diverse core blood units.

Major Milestones

2008
First Milstein Symposium on Cord Blood Advancements in Science. Over 200 scientists gather from around the world to discuss transplantation research and share patient management protocols
2012
Second Milstein Cord Blood Symposium to mark FDA approval of Hemacord, the first FDA-licensed stem cell therapy product. Over 300 scientists participate in the Symposium entitled, “Perspectives in Cord Blood Biology and Clinical Applications

Howard P. Milstein sworn in as an honorary FDNY Battalion Chief, in recognition of his significant support for the Fire Department and the people of New York

2013
Howard Milstein and NYBC are recognized by the Be The Match Foundation for their contributions to the National Marrow Donor Program
2014
Hemacord receives the first FDA approval for a stem cell therapy and wins the PRIX GALIEN USA “Best Biotechnology Product” Award

NYBC merges with Community Blood Center of Kansas City, an organization proudly serving the Greater Kansas City area for over 50 years.

2015

NYBC and the Howard Milstein Cord Blood Center announces a new collaboration to foster groundbreaking advancements in regenerative medicine. This work is done in partnership with the University of California, Davis, Health System to manufacture specialized lines of stem cells as potential therapies, and a collaboration with Dusseldorf University and the Max Planck Institute, working with the GMP Labs of RheinCell Therapeutics.

Howard P. Milstein is the first individual inductee to the New York Blood Center’s Hall of Fame:

Howard P. Milstein acceptance remarks | Dr. Pablo Rubinstein introducing Howard P. Milstein

  • “The NY Blood Center salutes Howard Milstein, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for his tireless leadership, dedication and commitment to New York Blood Center at home and throughout the world.”
2016
New York Blood Center merges with Innovative Blood Resources, a leading blood center in the Midwest

The Howard Milstein Cord Blood Center is planning to partner with the National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute, with the goal of creating 10,000 retinas from a single homozygous unit of cord blood.

2017
Howard P. Milstein presides over the “Honor Roll of Life” recognizing FDNY members who have donated bone marrow, in a program he created with Nick Scoppetta, for the 13th time.

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