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The one hundred honoree: Irina Dobrusin, RN, BSN

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The one hundred honoree: Irina Dobrusin, RN, BSN

Mass General Giving

Irina Dobrusin, RN, BSN, masterfully fulfills a vital role in the process of harvesting stem cells for bone marrow transplants at the Mass General Cancer Center.

Irina performs delicate apheresis procedures, during which blood is drawn from a patient or donor and sent to a high-tech machine that isolates the precious stem cells and returns the remaining blood to the person intravenously. As the apheresis resource nurse for the Blood Transfusion Service (BTS), Irina monitors the quality of the collection of stem cell products and conducts orientations for new BTS and Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) nurses on the intricacies of stem cell collections.

In 2012, Bimalangshu Dey, MD, invited Irina to join the Mass General Cancer Center team implementing the first BMT service at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Irina successfully performed six stem cell collections over the course of two weeks and trained Bangladeshi BMT physicians and nurses in the procedure.

“Irina’s Bangladeshi colleagues remain eternally grateful,” says Jane Ritzenthaler, RN, HP (ASCP), Irina’s supervisor. “They continue to send her updates on the patients she helped during her time there.”

A native of Ukraine, where she trained and practiced nursing for 10 years before emigrating to the U.S., Irina arrived at the Mass General Cancer Center in 1998. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Apheresis and has made frequent presentations at its annual meetings.