PlusLife, Perth's bone and tissue bank, has started relocating to its new headquarters in Midland, signalling a new era for the important West Australian health service.
This move is possible because the Barnett Government committed $10 million in the May State Budget to construction of a state-of-the-art production facility for PlusLife in Midland.
The new development will include cleanrooms, testing and research laboratories, and freezer store that will enable PlusLife to continue its life-changing work in bone grafts and tissue transplants.
"This is the start of an exciting new chapter for PlusLife that will see us move into new offices with an adjoining purpose-built cleanroom, freezer and processing facility at Midland to meet our unique needs," PlusLife Managing Director Anne Cowie said.
"We are extremely grateful to the State Government for approving this generous capital grant which means our specialised and life-changing work can continue to help future generations."
Mrs Cowie said the State Government's capital investment and support from Health Minister John Day had secured PlusLife's ongoing operations, allowing the organisation to continue the management of bone and tissue donations in WA.
The Midland property, at the corner of Yelverton and Helena streets, is owned by the State Government and leased to PlusLife through the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority.
Under the first phase of the relocation, 12 PlusLife administration staff will move from their Nedlands offices at the Perth Orthopaedic Institute to an existing building on the Midland site today (September 2). Remaining staff are due to transition two weeks later.
Construction of the cleanrooms and laboratories is scheduled to start in December and will take about a year to build.
During that time, PlusLife will retain the Nedlands site until the Midland processing facility has been completed. Technicians will man the Nedlands facility on a rotational basis to maintain the tissue processing and graft distribution functions.
PlusLife bone and tissue transplants are required almost every day to treat patients with spinal deformities, young people with bone cancers (often preventing the amputation of a limb); and many more patients with arthritic joint disease and sporting injuries.
Mrs Cowie said many people did not realise that tissue donation was even possible, with bone donation the second most common human transplant after blood. One tissue donor has the potential to improve the wellbeing, sight and mobility of up to 60 people.
"Thousands of West Australians have been helped by PlusLife and bone and tissue donations," she said. "Last year alone, more than 500 patients were supplied bone and tissue transplants."
PlusLife is the only bone and tissue bank in WA and has delivered services valued at more than $30 million to the community over the past 23 years. In addition to supplying for local medical procedures, it also provides bone and tissue around Australia.
MEDIA CONTACT: Nicole Cox – 0419 941 443