June 5, 2010
In mid-May, we cryopreserved 92-year-old Paul Garfield, a neuropreservation patient. Paul was a dedicated member of Alcor for 20 years and a long-time volunteer at the organization. Even in his 90’s Paul maintained an active lifestyle, often going dancing and visiting Alcor weekly. After being hospitalized in early 2009, he moved out of state to live with relatives. Alcor developed a cordial relationship with his son, who expressed a desire to honor his father’s wish for cryopreservation, despite personal reservations. The son informed Alcor in March that Paul had suffered a stroke and was undergoing physical therapy. On May 11, Paul was admitted to hospice care after his condition deteriorated, possibly due to another stroke. Alcor immediately deployed Aaron Drake and Suspended Animation to perform a standby that ultimately lasted about a day. Several Alcor Texas team members also offered assistance gathering supplies, providing transportation, and participating in the standby. Following pronouncement, Suspended Animation immediately began stabilization procedures and performed a successful field washout. He arrived in Alcor’s operating room approximately 20 hours post-pronouncement, and we achieved terminal perfusion. Paul became Alcor’s 95th patient.
Earlier in the month, we had received an emergency call regarding a member with lymphoma who had been hospitalized in Ohio. We had been tracking this member’s health condition as part of our watch list program. We were receiving mixed signals regarding his condition and decided to deploy Aaron Drake on May 4 to perform a wellness check. During the five-day deployment, Aaron met the member, his family and health care providers. The deployment was ended when the member showed sufficient signs of recovery, but the visit afforded us the opportunity to lay the groundwork with his health care providers, who would largely become our source of information thereafter. We continued to closely monitor his condition and were contacted by his nurse when his health further deteriorated. On June 3, Aaron was again deployed to do a wellness check.
Late this month, we were visited by an 85-year-old member who was moved to the Phoenix area by his supportive daughter. He was unable to communicate, which is particularly disconcerting for those of us who have known him for years. Although we did not enjoy seeing him in that condition, we are glad he is now living only a few miles from Alcor central. We also received a last-minute case inquiry on our emergency line from a gentleman who was seeking to cryopreserve his hospitalized mother. He has not yet provided the information necessary for Alcor to further assess his request.
Following our back-to-back cryopreservation of hospice patients last month, we had the pleasure of hosting a visit from several representatives of one of our local hospice providers. It was a valuable opportunity to give and receive feedback about our mutual experience. Several logistical details were discussed to ensure an optimal process in the future, such as where to park the Alcor vehicle and how to minimize the disruptiveness of our thumper. (We have now upgraded to the quieter Lucas 2). We explained the aspects of their service that are critical to our objectives, such as timely pronouncement. We have also been assigned our own private room near the exit, for the most expeditious transport to Alcor. It was a positive meeting and we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial association.
Our dewar provider has finished its testing of Bigfoot #10, and the boiloff rate is higher than desired at 17 liters per day. (Apparently the initial result of about 10 liters per day was not reliable, as suspected.) We are at least two to three years away from running out of dewar space, considering our current caseload. Therefore, we have requested the patient care trust board’s approval of funding for additional dewars. We plan to offer a financial incentive if our dewar provider is able to further improve its boiloff rate.
Randal’s redesign of the whole body enclosure is now complete and the table is ready for testing. Hugh Hixon will work with Joel Andersen and Randal to conduct the necessary tests. Randal also built the back plates and shelving for six ATPs. Steve Graber will assemble the remaining components with assistance from Hugh.
We hired a new professional employer organization this month, following a significant increase in the cost of doing business with ADP TotalSource. D’Bora and Bonnie devoted significant time to this project, interviewing several firms, providing them with information, and managing all the necessary setup with the new firm. Their efforts are appreciated.
On the financial side, the A/R report indicates collection efforts are warranted for delinquent membership dues and CMS payments. The total outstanding balance for those 61-90 days past due is ~$13k and those over 90 days past due total ~$72k. This represents a 5% increase over the past two months. Bonnie plans to send duplicate invoices and/or collection notices to the members who are behind on their dues.
To review previous Executive Director’s board reports, visit the Alcor staff page.