Alcor’s VP of Finance, Bonnie Magee, leaves her job at Alcor

Bonnie Magee, Vice President of Finance has decided, after 10 years, to leave the employ of Alcor Life Extension Foundation. She is a long-time cryonicist and Alcor member and we value the contributions she has made and her dedication to Alcor. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. If you have any membership questions you can continue to reach out to Diane Cremeens, Director of Membership at diane@alcor.org and for any billing questions to Marji Klima, Director of Operations at marji@alcor.org.

Alcor Longevity Circle of Distinguished Donors

The Alcor Board of Directors is pleased to announce the formation of the Alcor Longevity Circle of Distinguished Donors. This new organization will honor those members and their foundations that have donated in excess of $100,000 over the past few years to support Alcor and its affiliated organizations. In addition to being recognized in Alcor publications and at conferences and other events, members will also be entitled to:

– Exclusive access and a quarterly conference call with Alcor Directors, officers, and officials to get in-depth briefings and ask questions and make suggestions.
– Special recognition, seating, and access to officials at Alcor conferences.
– An exclusive yearly, hosted in-person event honoring members with face-to-face interaction with Alcor Directors, officers, and officials.
– A unique, professionally designed and engraved memento of their membership.

These benefits are, of course, overshadowed by the immense gratitude members and patients’ families will always have for these especially generous individuals. The Board looks forward to announcing Charter members of the Longevity Circle who qualify by December 31, 2020. New levels of membership (higher and lower levels of participation) may also be announced in the future.

A message to our members about COVID-19

Novel coronavirus and the associated COVID-19 pandemic is a top priority at Alcor. The health and safety of our valued Members, staff, and strategic partners is of paramount importance. With the announcement of travel bans and the World Health Organization (WHO) recently declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic, Alcor is taking this threat very seriously. Updates on COVID-19 outbreaks are evolving rapidly and we are actively tracking the situation.

Rest assured, should the need arise, it is Alcor’s policy that we will respond to COVID-19 cases and we will advocate with officials and healthcare providers so we can provide the highest quality cryopreservation for our Members / Patients. Out of an abundance of caution, Alcor has taken and is taking the following steps to prepare to support our valued Members:

  • We proactively ordered medications, supplies and personal protective equipment for our standby, stabilization, and transport (SST) teams before inventory became unavailable. We are fully stocked and prepared to handle higher case volumes, if necessary.
  • We are hosting planning calls with our strategic partners, Suspended Animation (SA) and International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE), to ensure SST professionals are prepared for case work.
  • Alcor, SA, and ICE will coordinate SST to deliver the highest level of care to our Members / Patients that is possible with circumstances that exist.
  • Alcor will enhance our Watchlist to include members that test positive for COVID-19 and we will collaborate with SST professionals for rapid deployment.
  • Alcor Staff members will be allowed to work remotely for non-mission critical functions during this time to mitigate exposure to COVID-19 so they can be in optimal health when case(s) present. Additionally, Alcor will be suspending tours of our facility.
  • Alcor has postponed a training event that was to be held in New York in April with numerous attendees and other events planned for later this year are carefully being reconsidered.
  • Alcor and its partners are monitoring regulations for transport of human remains and human tissue infected with novel coronavirus. According to direct communication from the U.S. State Department, there are no new domestic restrictions for remains transport as of March 12. International cryonics patients will be maintained in dry ice if there are delays in obtaining importation permits, and/or converted to neuropreservation on an emergency basis if serious obstacles to importation of infected whole bodies are encountered.

Some of our Members have expressed interest in relocating, temporarily or permanently, to Scottsdale, AZ. Alcor does not have a specific recommendation regarding relocation because each Member has a unique set of circumstances. However, if a Member wishes to explore relocating closer to Alcor, we are happy to answer questions. International travel is not recommended for members residing in the U.S. due to the possibility of becoming seriously ill while abroad. The recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should be followed for domestic travel.

You should contact your healthcare provider if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath not related to existing conditions. Your healthcare provider will be able to make a recommendation on if you should come to the office, emergency department, or stay home. If you do test positive for COVID-19, or are hospitalized for any reason, please notify Alcor immediately. Alcor recommends that our Members maintain good hygiene and monitor updates as directly posted by the CDC and WHO.

Member A-1774 becomes Alcor’s 176th patient on January 14, 2020

A-1774 is a non-confidential, 77-year old, male with whole-body arrangements for cryopreservation. He had been a member since 2000. He was pronounced legally deceased in Scottsdale, AZ very shortly after being relocated from his home state by medical flight.

Alcor member A-1774 was in a rural area about two (2) hours away from a major airport, and over 1,600 miles away from Alcor. A healthcare provider contacted Alcor on Thursday, January 9 to inform Alcor the member may not have much time left.

Alcor’s Medical Response Director, Blake Honiotes, and Readiness Coordinator, Sarah Kelly, collected clinical data on the member. Vitals indicated no evidence that there was an immediate risk to the member; however, Alcor elected to send Eric Vogt, co-founder of International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE), to the member’s location to assess the situation further.

Eric arrived at the member’s bedside in less than 10 hours and, after assessing the member’s condition, concurred there was no immediate risk. While visiting the member, Eric built trust with the member’s daughter, Lori, who permitted Alcor to use her first name. Eric explained to Lori that Alcor can help provide relocation assistance for terminal members and she agreed to move her father to Arizona.

Eric from I.C.E. said, “With the information provided by ICE, Alcor was able to make informed decisions to ensure the best outcome for its member. ICE participated in discussions with Alcor on how to relocate the member due to inclement weather conditions, location to nearest major metropolitan airport, and the member’s health.”

Eric, Blake, and Sarah relocated the member to a short driving distance from Alcor on Sunday, January 12. Lori accompanied her father and Eric on the trip. In less than 7 hours after arriving in Arizona, the member suffered cardiac arrest. Protocol was initiated within 3 minutes and the member arrived in Alcor’s Operating Room within 72 minutes from pronouncement.

Blake, Alcor’s MRD, said, “Once the Member arrived, I was able to perform my own assessment and it was determined that a standby was warranted. When the patient suffered legal death, Alcor and ICE provided rapid stabilization and transport and surgical assistance. This collaboration between Alcor and ICE sets a great precedent that should be strived for in all future cases.”

This case is a first for Alcor in many ways. It’s the first case under Alcor’s new outcomes-based contract with ICE. It’s the first case for Alcor’s new MRD, Blake Honiotes. It’s the first case of 2020 and it’s the first case to take advantage of the newly increased relocation assistance for terminal members of up to $15,000as approved by the Alcor Board of Directors in December 2019.

The member’s daughter, Lori, who is not a cryonicist, told Alcor, “I’d just like to say thank you to Eric from I.C.E for making the last wishes of my father as painless as can be. If it weren’t for him and the members of Alcor, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through it. And thank you to Blake and Sarah. They treated me like family. I was lost after dad passed and I really needed that.” Lori toured the Alcor facility while she was in Arizona and returned to her home the evening of Monday, January 13.

A full case report will be published.

Next Meeting of Alcor Northern California

Sunday, January 12, 2020 – 3:00 pm

3181 Surmont Dr., Lafayette, California

Ralph Merkle will discuss the Alcor Board meeting.

Please bring a dish to share for a potluck.

Please contact Mark Galeck, mark_galeck@pacbell.net, if you are interested in carpooling from the South San Francisco Bay area.

Member A-2408 becomes Alcor’s 175th patient on November 16, 2019

A-2408 was a confidential, 52-year-old, male with whole-body arrangements for cryopreservation. He had been a member since 2009 and had stage IV lung cancer. He was pronounced clinically dead in New Jersey on November 16, 2019, at 07:29 hrs. MST.

He was flown to Alcor for cryoprotection and entered cryogenic cool down on November 17, 2019. Three members of the Alcor New York group drove to New Jersey to assist with shipping the patient to Alcor; their participation was invaluable. He become Alcor’s 175th patient.

Member A-2366 becomes Alcor’s 174th patient on October 6, 2019

Member A-2366, a confidential, male neuro member was pronounced on October 6, 2019 in Washington state. After arriving early in the morning of October 7, A-2366 was perfused with cryoprotectant and entered cool down.

Two team members arrived at the member’s location on September 29 to check on him. That morning, we learned that the member’s doctor said A-2366 was better and seemed to be recovering. The doctor and family looked to moving him to a skilled nursing facility if he continued to improve. The Alcor team felt that he was still at significant risk and so remained. The next day, while we continued to be concerned about his condition, his doctor remained optimistic, saying that he continued to improve slowly. On October 1 we were told that the hospital planned to discharge the member to return to a rehab facility. Plans changed frequently.

On the morning of October 5, the hospice nurse said she believed the member would go down in the next 48 hours. Alcor CEO, Max More, immediately called for a deployment by Suspended Animation. They arrived that afternoon. Less than 24 hours later, on October 6, the member was pronounced, and SA conducted a washout and other standard procedures. On October 7, A-2366 arrived at Alcor and underwent cryoprotective perfusion followed by cool down for long-term storage.

Job opening: Medical Response Director

MEDICAL RESPONSE DIRECTOR

Job Description:
Alcor Life Extension Foundation is seeking a Medical Response Director (MRD) to join our high-functioning team. Reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, the MRD is responsible for the postmortem stabilization and transport of Alcor patients to Scottsdale, Arizona. The MRD will coordinate with Alcor staff and contractors to enhance existing Standby, Stabilization, and Transport (SST) processes. The MRD will ensure that equipment is properly maintained for emergency deployment and that the highest quality of care is delivered to our patients.

The MRD will collect appropriate data and ensure detailed, timely field reports are written. The MRD will be responsible for recruiting medically-skilled contractors, supervising the certification process for contractors, and implementing national and international training sessions. The MRD will work with Alcor personnel, external physicians, scientists, and consultants to ensure that procedures reflect the best available medical and scientific knowledge.

Job Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Establish and maintain contact with Alcor member’s physician or medical facility upon terminal diagnosis and track member’s condition.
• Collaborate with Deployment Committee to determine when to activate the SST Team.
• Organize and oversee standby process, in which technicians wait to perform post-mortem stabilization procedures.
• Establish contact with local funeral homes to assist in stabilization and transport preparations.
• Interact with patients, families, and local medical personnel after pronouncement of legal death.
• Ensure timely application of Alcor’s SST protocol; which includes surface cooling, medication administration, cardiopulmonary support, airway management, and blood washout.
• Supervise patient transport to Scottsdale, Arizona and assist in Alcor’s operating room.
• Prepare detailed field reports on the care provided to the patient after transport is concluded.

Minimum Qualifications:
• College Degree, preferably healthcare related.
• 3+ years of experience in a healthcare field.
• Familiarity with HIPAA regulations and compliance with the Privacy Rule.
• Capable of lifting, minimally, 50 lbs.
• Intermediate proficiency with MS Office products.
• Ability to work in a collaborative team environment and must be comfortable with end of life process.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Registered Nurse, Paramedic, or Certified Perfusionist.
• 5+ years of experience in a healthcare field.
• 3+ years managerial experience.

Benefits:
• Competitive salary.
• 401k with 5% employer contributions.
• Health, Dental, and Vision insurance.
• 10 paid holidays per year, plus generous vacation and sick time policy.
• Tuition reimbursement for qualified staff.

Travel is approximately 30%.

Cryopreservation minimums remain unchanged

No change in minimum cryopreservation funding was made at the September 2019 Annual Meeting. Minimums remain the same as in 2011.

Member A-3217 becomes Alcor’s 173rd patient on September 30, 2019

A-3217, a confidential, 55-year old, female, neurocryopreservation member, was pronounced legally dead on September 30, 2019 in Alberta, Canada.

A-3217 had been a member of Alcor since January 31, 2019. In August her family alerted Alcor that her cancer was progressing. Alcor suggested relocating the member to a Scottsdale, Arizona hospice. This would eliminate transport delays and avoid possible legal and regulatory problems due to Alberta’s jurisdiction. A late relocation is never easy and the family decided not to pursue that option.

While engaging in a standby for another member on the West Coast, Alcor heard from the family on September 30, 2019. Her physicians did not expect her to live more than 24 hours. Based on new information, a medical advisor agreed that an immediate deployment was called for. Alcor immediately relocated a team member from the West Coast to Alberta and engaged International Cryomedicine Experts (ICE) to take charge of stabilization and transport. Several Alcor staff provided additional coordination and logistics planning.

The member had declined unexpectedly rapidly. Just the day before pronouncement, the member’s spouse said that doctors thought A-3217 had another couple of weeks. The shortage of time combined with bad weather (delaying flights from the USA) and local regulations to create major barriers to a timely response. The challenges were met with strong teamwork, cooperation from the family, and efforts by the funeral home to expedite the required transit permit. Team members administered some medications early on followed by additional medications when more team members arrived.

The funeral home had originally told Alcor that it would take three days to get a transit permit. By going to the relevant office in person they hoped to get a same-day release. In the end, we had to wait overnight as the patient cooled to get clearance to move. Even though there was no funding for a private flight, Alcor decided to secure one in order to shave crucial time off the transport. This enabled us to conduct cryoprotection despite a longer transport time than desired.

Members who do not provide funding for a private flight should not expect Alcor to arrange one. In this case, the decision was justified by our ability to also use the flight to get a full field neurocryopreservation kit into Canada.

A-3217 arrived at Alcor on October 1, 2019. After cryoprotection she went into cryogenic cooldown at 19:36 hrs.