National Blood Clot Alliance, formerly NATT, was strongly represented from beginning to end at the 1st National Conference on Blood Disorders in Public Health: Making the Connection. The conference was hosted by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Blood Disorders, in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the American Society of Hematology. It was held March 9-11th in Atlanta, GA.
As featured elsewhere in the newsletter, NBCA was given a prime speaking opportunity to announce its name change right before the opening plenary on the morning of the first conference day. This was followed by an introductory video on blood disorders, where Lynn Levitt, Board member, talked about the impact of her blood clot, and the importance of NBCA.
National Blood Clot Alliance staff, volunteers, Board and MASAB members gave key presentations throughout the 3-day meeting. Awareness and Gaps in Knowledge of DVT/PE in General Public was presented by Alan Brownstein, CEO and was prepared in collaboration with Jack Ansell, MASAB Chair. This presentation gave an overview of preliminary data from a survey of patients about their recognition of blood clots, signs and symptoms, and medical terminology. This project was sponsored by Ortho McNeil.
It followed a presentation on Knowledge of Deep Vein Thrombosis in the United States that was presented by Sara Critchley, the CDC Project Officer for National Blood Clot Alliance.
Alan Brownstein served as proxy for Randy Fenninger, Board President, in presenting A Patient Advocacy Response to the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action” (to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism) that summarized how many of National Blood Clot Alliance activities enact the “Call to Action.”
Richard Quattrocchi presented Use of Online Media to Promote Public Awareness of Blood Clots and Clotting Disorders to demonstrate the tremendous success of the website redesign and outreach of StopTheClot.org.
There was a team presentation at a “Special Session” on the Stop the Clot® Education Program for Patients with Blood Clots and Clotting Disorders that was moderated and introduced by Elizabeth Varga. Mary Ellen McCann, Director, Health Learning & Marketing, described program need, planning and implementation, marketing, essential collaboration with volunteers, impact, and lessons learned. Pat Koppa, former and founding Board member, described the success of support groups and Richard Quattrocchi described website growth and outreach.
Elizabeth Varga and Mary Ellen McCann presented posters at the poster session entitled Stop the Clot® Forums: A Successful Model for Patient Education About Thrombosis and Thrombophilia and Needs Assessment for Clotting Care Online Curriculum Design for Nurses, Pharmacists, and Physician’s Assistants respectively. Both posters highlight National Blood Clot Alliance’s focus on education of patients and providers about blood clots and clotting disorders.
Alan Brownstein was on the panel of the Closing Plenary entitled Future Public Health Directions: The Partner Perspective where he again emphasized the major public health threat of blood clots, and the need for collaborative partnerships.
The presence of National Blood Clot Alliance at this meeting was strong, and it was the most consistent voice for blood clots and clotting disorders. It highlighted the pivotal role of National Blood Clot Alliance in responding to the essential public health service to inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.