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Jeffrey Modell Foundation Opens Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin


Grant from Baxter Supports Primary Immunodeficiency Diagnosis and Patient Access to Care

MILWAUKEE, January 18, 2007 – At 8:30 a.m. Friday, January 19, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF), together with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, will celebrate the opening of the Jeffrey Modell Diagnostic Center for Primary Immunodeficiencies at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and The Medical College of Wisconsin. Media are welcome to attend the dedication located at Children’s Hospital. Baxter has provided an unrestricted grant to JMF for the center. The diagnostic center is one of only 32 of its kind in the world, focusing on the diagnosis, care, and treatment of people around the country suffering with Primary Immunodeficiency (PI).  Primary Immunodeficiency is a term that encompasses more than 120 diseases caused by an immune system that does not function properly.

“There is a large undiagnosed population of children and young adults suffering with these diseases, keeping them from enjoying a full life, as they often miss 30 or 40 days of school every year,” said Vicki Modell, Co-Founder of the JMF.  “Their illness interrupts their activities, detours their plans, and shatters their dreams.”

“We are thrilled with the support from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and with Baxter,” added Fred Modell, Co-founder, JMF.  “Experts have estimated that as many as 500,000 cases of PI remain undiagnosed in the United States, and our goal is to give every child a chance to lead a healthy, normal life.”

A recent survey of the Jeffrey Modell Centers shows they are, in fact, fulfilling that promise.  Survey results reveal that throughout a two-year period, there was a 79% average annual increase in the number of patients diagnosed with PI, and a 58% increase in the number of PI patients receiving treatment.

“We are honored to receive this award from the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, which is known world-wide for supporting innovative translational research and clinical programs in PI,” said Dr. Jack Routes, M.D. Routes is the Chief of the Division of Allergy/Clinical Immunology at Children’s Hospital and a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Medical College of Wisconsin.

“The early recognition and diagnosis of PI saves lives and improves the quality of life for these patients,” said William Grossman, M.D., Ph.D. Grossman is an investigator at the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Medical College of Wisconsin.. “The educational and diagnostic programs made possible through this support will be vital to the establishment of a center of excellence for diagnosis and treatment of patients with PI, and will provide cutting edge research and diagnostic opportunities not only to Milwaukee, but to all of Wisconsin, and parts of Michigan and Illinois as well.”

“Baxter is proud to partner with JMF and Children’s Hospital to help provide treatment and raise awareness of this immune condition,” said Larry Guiheen, President of Biopharmaceuticals for Baxter’s BioScience business. “This center will help improve the lives of so many patients with Primary Immunodeficiency.

Baxter and the JMF are long-standing partners in the effort to raise awareness and increase diagnosis of PI globally.  In addition to establishing diagnostic centers around the world, Baxter and JMF have in the past collaborated to raise PI awareness in the U.S. and Europe.

About Primary Immunodeficiency

PI affects males and females of all ages, but the most severe forms are frequently detected in childhood.  Primary Immunodeficiency can often present in the form of common illnesses such as sinus infections, pneumonia, ear infections, and bronchitis.  For this reason, families and doctors are often unaware that the troubling conditions that they are dealing with are actually rooted in a defect in the immune system and treat the symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause. Failure to diagnose and treat PI can lead to serious chronic illness, permanent organ damage to health, or even death.

About Jeffrey Modell Foundation

The Jeffrey Modell Foundation was established in 1987 by Vicki and Fred Modell in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of 15 of a PI disease. The Foundation is dedicated to early and precise diagnosis, meaningful treatments, and ultimately cures of primary immunodeficiencies. More information on PI can be found at or by contacting the JMF at (212) 819-0200, e-mail

About Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin 

Children’s Hospital, founded in 1894, is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. Children’s Hospital is the only freestanding Level I Trauma Center in the region that cares exclusively for children and adolescents. The hospital is designated a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a national honor that recognizes nursing excellence. Children’s Hospital is the flagship member of Children’s Hospital and Health System. Private, independent and not-for-profit, the hospital serves children and families from Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, northern Illinois and beyond.

About Baxter

Baxter Healthcare Corporation is the principal U.S. operating subsidiary of Baxter International Inc. (NYSE: BAX). Baxter International Inc., through its subsidiaries, assists healthcare professionals and their patients with treatment of complex medical conditions, including cancer, hemophilia, immune disorders, kidney disease and trauma. The company applies its expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives.  For more information about Baxter, please visit

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s largest private research institution. Founded in 1893, it is the second largest research center in the state.  Each year, 900 Medical College faculty physicians, care for approximately 277,000 patients representing more than one million patient visits at the College’s major affiliate hospitals: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert Hospital and the VA Medical Center-Milwaukee.

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