REPROCELL and BioBridge Global sign Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate global manufacturing services using clinical iPSCs

November 2021 Foundation Board Member Spotlight

Jenny Holshouser 

What inspired you to join the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation Board?  

 My grandparents were involved in the board from its beginning, so I heard about the Foundation and the Texas Cord Blood Bank often.  They invited me to an event and the rest is history. 

What do you like to do?   

 I have three young kids, so I have very little free time.  But when I do, I enjoy going on walks, playing pickle ball or tennis, cooking, and needlepointing.   

What motivates you?    

 The high demand for blood really motivates me to share what I know about the Blood and Tissue Center, and the knowledge of what amazing things are possible with blood and tissue donations inspires me to share that knowledge with people I know. 

Is there anything about your time on the board you would like to share? Most cherished moments or greatest accomplishments?  

One of my favorite experiences on the board is the tours.  I love getting to go on them!  I learn something new and fascinating every time. 

Red and White Ball Update: Preregister

Two days to go until the 2021 Red and White Ball with our emcee Delaine Mathieu and entertainment by Doc Watkins. 

Thanks to all our sponsors, underwriters and ticket holders, we are at $370,000 of our $500,000 goal to date. 

Here is your list of everything you need to know before the big night. 

Valet and self-parking options will both be available, courtesy of Kreager Mitchell PLLC and Red McCombs Automotive. A shuttle will also be available to take guests from the garage to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.  

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by volunteers ready to help check you in. You also have the option to check in on your phone with this link.

Upon completion you will receive a text message with your table number and a personal link to our silent auction and raffle event site.  

Virtual single ticket holding attendees can expect to have their charcuterie board by Cheese & Honey SA delivered on Saturday Nov. 13. Companies that purchased virtual tables can expect to have their charcuterie boards delivered to their table host on Friday Nov. 12.

Virtual ticket holders will receive their Zoom link for the gala Friday evening by email from  

Didn’t get a ticket in time or do you know someone who would like to support our cause from the comfort of their home near or far? No problem!

Though in person and virtual ticket purchase opportunities have closed, anyone can still participate in the virtual raffle and silent auction which opened on Nov. 1 to attendees and to the public.

Winners will be notified by text or email with pickup or delivery options available.

Both the raffle and silent auction will close at 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 13.  

The opening of new donor centers is truly a gift from the heart only made possible by generous donors like you to blood donors, patients and their families.

For this reason, a donated hand-made Giving Heart will be available in the lobby of the Tobin for those wishing to make significant contributions directly for the purchase of equipment and furnishings needed for the donor center. Donors will have the opportunity to have their name displayed inside the heart, which will later hold a special place at the donor center.

Community Labs’ rapid growth helps schools return to normal 

Community Labs, the nonprofit COVID-19 testing center designed to get students back into schools, is now performing tests on 350 campuses of 13 different school districts, as well as five universities, the BioBridge Global representative on the Community Labs’ board told The Blood & Tissue Center Foundation board of directors. 

Richey Wyatt, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at BioBridge Global, which developed and conducts Community Labs’ testing operations, outlined the remarkable progress of a laboratory that went from concept to testing in less than 90 days. 

“We’re averaging about 15,000 tests a day now, with capacity to go even higher,” he told the group. 

The lab was the brainchild of local philanthropists Graham Weston, Tullos Wells and Bruce Bugg. They learned of a similar program launched in Massachusetts and approached Wyatt about testing capacity within QualTex Laboratories, which is a subsidiary of BioBridge Global. 

The goal was to have quick-turnaround, highly accurate, less-invasive and affordable tests available to help create COVID-19 “safety zones” for schools to return to in-person instruction. 

The first district to sign up for testing was Somerset ISD, where in-person attendance was hovering around 35% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“That’s a school district where online learning is not a reality,” Wyatt said. “You have major issues with internet access and language barriers.” 

Once parents, staff, teachers and students were convinced of testing, in-person attendance soared to 85%. The district’s students also recorded the largest improvement in the standardized STAAR test in the state. 

The Community Labs testing program has since grown to 13 districts, including San Antonio ISD, and recently added school districts in Laredo and San Marcos. Laredo ISD produced a video about the program, which also is performing weekly tests for employees at 17 businesses. 

With the downward curve of COVID-19 cases, Wyatt said it would be difficult to predict where Community Labs will be by the start of the 2022-23 school year. 

“I call COVID a cunning and baffling disease,” he said. “We stand ready to perform tests as long as the community needs us.” 

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