Women who give birth at Saint Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, will be able to donate blood from their umbilical cords for use in disease treatments beginning Dec. 1.
It's the only public cord donation program in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
The new opportunity is an expansion of the St. Louis Cord Blood Bank, a program of SSM Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center.
Donated cord blood cells will be tested and processed at Saint Luke's, then shipped to St. Louis for storage.
The St. Louis bank is one of about two dozen public banks nationwide that store umbilical cord blood for research in the field of stem cell transplantation.
Those transplants can help replace cells as part of treatments for leukemia, sickle cell anemia and other conditions.