ThedaCare Enrolling Patients In COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Expanded Access Program

Committed to Providing Best Care Options for Patients

NEENAH, Wis. – In the continually evolving response to COVID-19, ThedaCare has remained steadfast in the commitment to seeking and providing the best care options for patients with COVID-19.

“Without a vaccine available, one treatment option showing promise across the globe is the use of convalescent plasma,” said Dr. Matthias Weiss, ThedaCare Research Director/Institutional Principal Investigator. “It is important that more research is done to better understand this treatment for patients with COVID-19.”

To learn more about potential convalescent plasma use, ThedaCare recently joined that important effort by becoming a participant in the trial, Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. ThedaCare is partnering with The Community Blood Center to obtain convalescent plasma from local donors who have fully recovered from COVID-19 infections.

“When transfused in severely ill patients, the antibodies in the plasma are believed to attack the virus and may help patients recover more rapidly,” explained Dr. Weiss. “Early data from studies indicate that a single dose of 200 ml of COVID-19 convalescent plasma leads to improvement in individuals with severe or life-threatening COVID-19.”

The transfusion of convalescent plasma dates back to the late 1800s. Now in modern times, the method has been used to treat measles, mumps, H1N1 influenza and Ebola.

ThedaCare’s Cancer Research Team is leading system efforts.

ThedaCare Convalescent Plasma trial group

To learn more about potential convalescent plasma use, ThedaCare recently became a participant in the trial, Expanded Access to Convalescent Plasma for the Treatment of Patients with COVID-19, sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. Note – this photo was taken before social distancing guidelines were issued.

“The Cancer Research Team has the expertise to conduct this study according to protocol and safety,” explained Dr. Weiss. “We are humbled by the opportunity to guide this effort, not only to provide the best treatment options for our very ill COVID-19 patients, but also to serve as a leader in the advancement of care while other therapeutic options and, eventually, vaccines are under development.”

In an effort to offer this treatment option to patients as quickly as possible, the research team worked swiftly to create a program implementation plan in less than two weeks.


Six sites are currently involved in the clinical trial:

  • ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Appleton
  • ThedaCare Regional Medical Center–Neenah
  • ThedaCare Medical Center–Berlin
  • ThedaCare Medical Center–New London
  • ThedaCare Medical Center–Shawano
  • ThedaCare Medical Center–Waupaca


To be considered for the trial, patients must meet specific criteria:

  • 18 years of age or older (minors are eligible with proper authorization)
  • Laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis
  • Admitted to acute care facility for treatment of COVID-19 complications
  • Severe or life-threatening COVID-19, or judged by the treating provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease
  • Provide consent to participate in the trial


Patients eligible for the Expanded Access Program will be identified by their treating providers.

Recovered COVID-19 patients are also encouraged to contact The Community Blood Center to discuss convalescent plasma donation opportunities to support ongoing research.

The duration of the Mayo Clinic’s study is 12 months. Our partners at Mayo Clinic will analyze data and publish results.

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 18 counties and employs more than 7,000 health care professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public and Media Relations Consultant at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.