The Stamford Partnership Orchestrates Collaboration with UConn’s Werth Institute to Support COVID-19 Treatment at Stamford Hospital

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Stamford Health becomes first independent, community hospital to offer convalescent plasma therapy as potentially life-saving option 

STAMFORD, CT – The Stamford Partnership, a public-private partnership for economic and community development, on Tuesday announced the positive outcomes of a joint-collaboration between the Stamford Partnership, Stamford Health and the Peter J Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at University of Connecticut (UConn). Stamford Health was early to launch a convalescent plasma clinical trial in its response to COVID-19. After learning about the clinical trial, The Stamford Partnership and UConn’s Werth Institute connected Stamford Health with community resources to support their efforts.

The convening of these three organizations by the Partnership resulted in a $50,000 donation from the Werth Family Foundation to Stamford Health for their research and treatment using convalescent blood plasma. Stamford Health began treating eligible COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma therapy in early April—the same week as Mayo Clinic—becoming the first hospital in Connecticut and the first independent, community hospital in the U.S. to add this therapy treatment to its treatment strategy for COVID-19. Using funds from the Werth Family Foundation Grant, many patients received convalescent plasma and had positive outcomes.

Adhering to the criteria for convalescent plasma therapy put forth by the FDA, the hospital treated 78 eligible patients with 2 units of plasma, doubling the typical unit count given at other hospitals. The hospital experienced positive outcomes immediately, even for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and those already on ventilators.

“When we first began seeing patients at Stamford Hospital, the situation was very challenging and our research team was determined to find a new and better way to help these patients,” said Suzanne Rose, Director, Office of Research at Stamford Health. “For a couple weeks, like most hospitals across the U.S., we had a hard time finding successful ways to treat our COVID-19 patients—and this feeling prompted our team to take action. Within days, we obtained the green light to begin convalescent plasma therapy, which was not yet used widely by healthcare providers as part of COVID-19 treatments, even within the largest hospital systems.”

The convalescent plasma therapy strategy put forth by Suzanne and the research team at Stamford Health was backed by a coalition of private, public and academic partners including the Stamford Partnership. Funding from the Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation helped Stamford Health access the volume of plasma needed and expedite required regulatory work.

“The convalescent plasma therapy strategy spearheaded by Stamford Health continues to play an exponential role to fast and successful economic restart and recovery, starting at the community level,” said David Noble, Director of the Peter J Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “The Werth Family Foundation was thrilled for the opportunity to bolster Stamford’s research and treatment strategy with a donation. We look forward to additional agile and responsive community collaborations that lead to sustained economic recovery and better health outcomes. We believe that the results we’re experiencing today point to a global genesis; we are on the brink of discovering solutions that can maintain population health, ensuring our communities and economies continue to thrive now and in the future.”

The Stamford Partnership is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life for Stamford’s residents, workforce, businesses, and stakeholders. We bring companies, governments, nonprofits, and people together to reimagine the future. Focused on economic and social impact for the future, we’re guided by our three pillars.

  1. Public-Private Partnerships

By bringing together government, companies, and nonprofits, we help assemble the coalitions needed to create positive, lasting change. Currently, we’re working on transforming Stamford into a smart city—one that’s fully connected, powered by technology, and designed with sustainability in mind.

  1. Ecosystem Development

We create programs and services for high-potential industries and companies to encourage innovation, growth, and connectivity. With a focus on clustering businesses and supporting and attracting entrepreneurs, we aim to continue establishing Stamford as a super-regional hub in which businesses thrive.

  1. Talent Development

We believe that the workforce of the future is built on lifelong learning, soft skills, and technical knowhow. To this end, we create personal and professional development opportunities that help build the engaged and inspired workforce of tomorrow. By helping cultivate generations of skilled workers, we are quite literally able to shape the future of Stamford.

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