Yale University School of Medicine Honors Sen. Fasano

June 17, 2011
State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Dr. Charles Lockwood, Yale School of Medicine. Courtesy: Harold Shapiro

State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Dr. Charles Lockwood, Yale School of Medicine. Courtesy: Harold Shapiro

New Haven CT – Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) greatly appreciates the wonderful support he has received from Yale University School of Medicine in the quest to open the state’s first public umbilical cord blood bank.

On Friday June 10, 2011 Senator Fasano accepted the Distinguished Service Award presented to him from the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine. The award recognizes an individual’s exceptional commitment and lasting contribution to the Department’s clinical mission: protecting the health of Connecticut’s mothers and children.

“I am humbled by this award and grateful for the dedication of the staff here at the University, especially Dr. Charles Lockwood,” said Senator Fasano. “Without all of us working together during the past several years to inform and educate the legislature about this medical alternative – the first public cord blood bank in Connecticut would not be possible.”

Cord blood is the blood that remains in a baby’s umbilical cord after the cord has been cut. Doctors have discovered that cord blood, like bone marrow, is a rich source of unique stem cells that can be used in medical treatments.

These “master stem cells” have been successfully used to treat a growing number of diseases and conditions:

  • leukemia and other cancers
  • sickle cell disease
  • multiple sclerosis

If cord blood is not banked, it is discarded after birth.

Currently doctors are required to inform pregnant women about their cord blood banking options but the process is very expensive. This law allows families to donate cells and store them in a public bank.

“The cord blood bank will establish a central place for people to have access to a life saving medical alternative,” said Senator Fasano. “I couldn’t be prouder of all of our efforts to make this a reality.”

Senator Fasano applauds the Kasey Rose Foundation, committee members and staff at the legislature, especially the chairman and ranking members of the Public Health Committee for their commitment to getting this law passed.

The award was presented during the Residents’ Research Day.