Biocell Center appoints GCI Health

24 March, 2011


NEW YORK — GCI Health, a healthcare public relations agency, has been selected by Biocell Center to establish consumer awareness about amniotic fluid banking. The goal of the campaign is to educate expecting parents about the benefits of amniotic fluid beyond pregnancy and preserving the fluid to take advantage of trends in the rapidly advancing field of regenerative medicine.

To raise consumer awareness about amniotic fluid, GCI Health facilitated a partnership between Biocell Center and HealthyWomen, the nation‟s leading independent health information source for women, to support the first national Amniotic Fluid Awareness Day on January 27, 2011.

The campaign kicked off with a blogger event the evening prior to the Awareness Day, driving buzz online leading up to the announcement. During the height of one of the largest snow storms of the winter, GCI Health facilitated 11 desk-side interviews with the top-tier magazines, including the leading parenting publications. In just one month, the campaign garnered more than 86 million media impressions and reached more than 200,000 Twitter followers.

“Biocell Center has been preserving amniotic fluid for European families for years and providing this service in the U.S. since 2009.” said Wendy Lund, CEO, GCI Health. “Many parents in the U.S. are still unaware of this truly progressive service, so we are thrilled to make Biocell Center‟s presence known.”

Amniotic fluid is one of the richest, natural sources of mesenchymal stem cells, which are at the forefront of medical research because they are multifunctional and can grow into many different organs and tissues. If collected and stored, these stem cells may help protect the child throughout their lifetime. In fact, research shows that these stem cells could potentially be used to repair cartilage in the knee, heal wounds or grow heart valves. It is easy and safe to collect amniotic fluid throughout the entire pregnancy, as early as the second trimester, because a small amount is already routinely collected during some prenatal tests. Just about one teaspoonful of amniotic fluid can be then set aside for preservation, without any change to the prenatal test itself.

“Our goal is to establish our company as the leader in amniotic fluid preservation and educate expecting parents and healthcare providers about the value of amniotic fluid beyond pregnancy,��� said Kate Torchilin, Ph.D., CEO, Biocell Center. “GCI Health offers an integrated media approach that meets our needs.”

There are 160 medical studies around the world evaluating cells similar to the ones found in amniotic fluid. As just one example, such cells are already used for post-surgery bone healing in spinal surgeries, and researchers predict innovations to continue.

“We are excited to partner with Biocell Center and GCI Health to raise awareness about stem cell banking with the hope that women become educated about their stem cell banking options during pregnancy planning,” said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, RN, Executive Director of HealthyWomen, a nonprofit organization and the leader in independent health information for women. “Decisions about prenatal testing and stem cell banking can be overwhelming, so it is important for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive to learn about all their options early on so they are empowered to make the right decision for themselves and their child‟s needs.”

The account will be serviced out of GCI Health‟s New York office.


Contact
Janine Katz, GCI Health
+1 (212) 798-9914
Janine.katz@gcihealth.com  

About GCI Health
GCI Health is a forward-thinking healthcare public relations agency powered by „best-in-the-business‟ professionals and the only WPP company that specializes in healthcare public relations. With over 80 professionals in offices in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, Toronto and the U.K., GCI Health offers clients an accessible senior level leadership team, A-to-Z healthcare experience, a commitment to “beating” client expectations, and an obsession with anticipating the challenges of an increasingly complex and transforming healthcare communications environment. With insider‟s knowledge of high science, media relations, digital health strategy, consumer activation, crisis management,
patient advocacy and health education, GCI Health‟s focus on delivering results is unrelenting and second to none. For more information, please visit http://www.gcihealth.com.  

About Biocell Center
Biocell Center, the leader in amniotic fluid preservation, was founded by internationally renowned doctors and scientists with decades of experience in prenatal testing and stem cells. Biocell Center is part of an international group of companies that offer amniotic fluid cell cryopreservation services worldwide. For years, Biocell Center has been conveniently and safely preserving amniotic fluid for pregnant women in Europe. The company opened its U.S. headquarters in Boston, Mass. in 2009, and is the first private amniotic fluid cell bank in the U.S. Biocell Center is an active participant in medical collaborations and scientific discussions in the area of amniotic fluid stem cells and their potential use in regenerative medicine.

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