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Sharing Plasma

Miami-Dade County honors UHealth’s COVID-19 transfusion program
Illustration of plasma and blood

Illustration by Mr. Lorem Ipsum.


he Miami-Dade County Board of Commissioners bestowed special recognition on Heroes Helping Heroes, the UHealth – University of Miami Health System plasma program, during its board meeting on July 7. The collaborative program collects donated plasma from individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and transfuses the units to patients who are still fighting the virus.

Convalescent plasma treatment was one of the first hopes for treating severe COVID-19 cases. UHealth launched Heroes Helping Heroes in 2020, collaborating with the Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), Jackson Health System and OneBlood Inc., a nonprofit that collects blood throughout communities using its “Big Red Bus” mobile vans. The first-of-its-kind partnership began its efforts by supporting the collection of convalescent plasma, then expanded to include recruitment for clinical trials, community support and education about COVID-19 vaccines and treatment.

The program initially reached nearly 4,000 employees of the DTPW; later it was made available to all 30,000 county employees. UHealth and Jackson Health System blood banks supported numerous convalescent plasma clinical trials despite multiple challenges, including staff shortages, trial complexity and increased workload.

“Coordinating these efforts was quite an undertaking, but the chance to provide hope to patients and their families was our inspiration,” said Yanyun Wu, M.D., Ph.D., clinical professor of pathology and laboratory medicine, and director of transfusion medicine at the Miller School. “I know that we, as a team, made a difference.”

FALL 2022