Two recent gifts from QueensCare, a Los Angeles faith-based nonprofit organization, will make a substantial difference for indigent patients with blood disorders, allowing them to receive life-saving bone marrow transplantation treatment.
The Bone Marrow Transplantation Program at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital has received $500,000 to support inpatient treatment for those not eligible for Medi-Cal coverage.
An additional gift of $100,000 will be split between the Department of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC for transport of patients at the school’s Transplant Institute and to provide transport for patients of the Department of Medicine’s Galaxy Program.
The Galaxy Health Care pilot project at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center offers more consistent and timely access to primary care services based on the patient-centered medical home model.
Bone marrow transplantation (BMT) is often used as a cure for blood disorders, such as lymphoma, acute leukemia, multiple myeloma and aplastic anemia. Though many of the patients who come to LAC+USC needing BMT might be good candidates for the treatment, they may not receive it without Medi-Cal coverage.
“For many leukemia patients, BMT is vital,” said Vinod Pullarkat, director of the Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplantation program at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. “With modern transplantation techniques, the survival rate for those patients goes from almost nothing to 70 to 80 percent.
“But if patients don’t qualify for Medi-Cal and don’t have private insurance, there has been no other way to offer BMT to them,” he continued. “Without QueensCare’s gift, it wouldn’t be possible to offer these transplants. It’s the only mechanism we have to provide these services to the indigent population.”
QueensCare provides health care to low-income, uninsured individuals residing in Los Angeles through its own operations and through partnerships and collaborations with academic, faith-based and other local organizations serving this population.
“Many hardworking people do not have access to care when they need it — especially sophisticated treatments like BMT,” said Barbara Brandlin Hines, president and CEO of QueensCare and QueensCare Family Clinics. “QueensCare is happy to partner with USC to bring these treatments to those who would otherwise go without.”
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