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American Society of Hematology Starts Katrina Relief Fund

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject: American Society of Hematology Starts Katrina Relief Fund
From Mon Dec 12, 2005 3:00 am to Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:59 am (included)
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American Society of Hematology Establishes Katrina Relief Fund to Aid New Orleans Medical Community, Hospitality Industry
Monday December 12, 11:12 am ET

ATLANTA, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is proud to announce the creation of the ASH Katrina Relief Fund, an effort designed to support the medical community and hospitality industry in the New Orleans area.

The 47th Annual Meeting of ASH, the world's largest gathering of blood specialists, was to have been held in New Orleans on December 3-6, 2005. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it became clear that the meeting would have to be moved to another city. The Katrina Relief Fund was established in recognition of the positive impact the 20,000-attendee ASH meeting would have had on the planned host city.

"As ASH started the process of transferring our meeting to another city, the residents of New Orleans were never far from our thoughts," said James N. George, M.D., President of ASH. "The city of New Orleans and its people have experienced a great tragedy, and early on ASH made a commitment to help the city in our absence this December."

Through the ASH Katrina Relief Fund, the Society will support convention center, restaurant, and tourism workers as they rebuild their lives and businesses in the city. Contributions will also support the continuation of medical research, assist hematology/oncology training programs, and help hematologists and oncologists to rebuild their practices -- all of which is essential to assure the availability of high-quality patient care as residents return to New Orleans.

On December 12, ASH will host the "All-ASH Mardi Gras Partners in Relief Reception" during the 47th Annual Meeting of ASH in Atlanta. All money raised at the event through corporate contributions and individual donations will support the ASH Katrina Relief Fund. Additionally, a donation form can be found on the ASH Web site at http://www.hematology.org/relief.

To date, the Society has raised more than $300,000 to support the ASH Katrina Relief Fund, and ASH has pledged to match all individual contributions up to a total of $100,000. One hundred percent of money raised will be used to provide grants to the following organizations:

* The three New Orleans medical institutions with hematology/oncology
training programs: Tulane University, the Louisiana State University
Health Sciences Center, and the Ochsner Clinic Foundation
* The Louisiana State Medical Society's Hurricane Katrina Physician Relief

Fund, which will help physicians re-establish their practices and begin
to provide needed medical care to residents returning to the affected
* The New Orleans Convention & Visitors' Bureau Employee Relief Fund and
the New Orleans Tourism Workers Relief Fund, which together represent
more than 80,000 hospitality workers

According to Dr. George, "It is our hope that the ASH Katrina Relief Fund will be a positive step toward re-establishing an effective health care infrastructure in New Orleans, and will provide needed assistance to the residents of the city. I think I speak on behalf of the entire ASH membership when I say that we would like to do whatever we can to help New Orleans return to a state of normalcy as soon as possible. We look forward to the rebirth of New Orleans, and are eagerly anticipating bringing our meeting to New Orleans in the future."

The American Society of Hematology (http://www.hematology.org) is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

Source: The American Society of Hematology
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