PEP Talk: Patients Educating Patients

Have you been recently diagnosed with a blood clot and have questions about your recovery? Please join NBCA via zoom every month for a virtual patient-to-patient support group for DVT and PE survivors.

Topics throughout 2023 will focus on women’s health, men’s health, mental health, lifestyle changes, treatment options, frequently asked questions, and family health history. We will also be featuring a variety of guest speakers, both patients and health professionals. The goal of each PEP Talk is to provide much needed and valuable support, resources, and recovery guidance for individuals who have been impacted by blood clots.

PEP Talk is an educational webinar and should not be considered as medical advice. Please consult directly with your healthcare provider for medical advice.

Meet the Hosts:

Leslie Lake

In 2018, Leslie suffered a bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE). Her quest to learn more about venous thromboembolism (VTE) led her to the National Blood Clot Alliance. Despite living in New York City, Leslie was shocked by the lack of information available to her after her PE. Leslie volunteers her time to lead the organization and is committed to raising public awareness so no person affected by blood clots is without the necessary information they need to prevent or successfully treat VTE, and that they also have the information they need to navigate the spectrum of lifestyle issues that can follow a blood clot diagnosis. Outside of work, Leslie is an avid equestrian, dog mom, and resides in Manhattan.

Todd Robertson

In 2011, Todd suffered the first of six blood clots and in 2017 experienced a close call with his first pulmonary embolism. He is a carrier of the inherited clotting disorder, factor V Leiden, and is homozygous, making him aggressive in the abnormal clotting department. He is a motivational speaker for blood clot trauma recovery and is a local patient advocate for new patients. He is working on his first book, “Blood Clots: A Road Map to Recovery.” Todd runs several Facebook support groups, including Team Stop the Clot® Facebook Support Group and has developed a level of trust and friendship with thousands of patients over the years. He loves to road and mountain bike, white water canoe, and stays active all year round. You can find Todd outside with his dog, Jett, who is his paddleboard partner and best friend!

PEP Talks 2024

February PEP Talk: Exercise, Anticoagulation and Weight Loss After Blood Clots

Dr. Jean Connors, hematologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, leads our discussion on the connection between obesity and blood clots and how to prevent them.

January PEP Talk: Orthopedic Surgery and Blood Clots

Dr. Sam Berkman, clinical professor of medicine at UCLA, explains why orthopedic surgery is a risk factor for blood clots and how patients can protect themselves from this potentially fatal complication.

PEP Talks 2023

October PEP Talk: Anticoagulation and Reversal Agents

Learn about how the anticoagulation reversal process works and the types of circumstances that would lead to a reversal.

July PEP Talk: From DVT to PE, Will Mechanical Thrombectomy Change the Standard of Care for Blood Clot Patients?

July 19, 2023 @ 7 pm ET

Learn more about this innovative treatment, its evolving applications, and its impact on the blood clot community. Our esteemed speaker, Dr. Carin Gonsalves, MD, FSIR, will provide detailed insights into the procedure, the pros and cons of mechanical thrombectomy, and its future implications.

June PEP Talk: Blood Clots and Compression: The Do’s, Don’ts and What You Should Know

Tuesday, June 20, 2023, 7 p.m. ET

Did you know that not all compression methods are the same? Learn when compression is effective, when you should use it, and the different types.

May PEP Talk: Women’s Health and VTE Through the Eyes of Elite Athletes

Monday, May 15, 2023, 7 p.m. ET

In recognition of Women’s Health Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, two elite athletes — Paralympic track and field athlete Tatyana McFadden and Olympic swimmer Katie Hoff — and Dr. Rachel Rosovsky of Massachusetts General Hospital will join us to discuss how blood clots have affected their lives; their road to diagnosis; and how they became their own health advocates. All women are invited to join our discussion.

April PEP Talk: May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS): What You Need to Know

Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 7 p.m. ET

Learn what you need to know about MTS from the patient perspective and the expertise of a vascular specialist to answer questions like, “What is it? What treatments are available? If you have it, how do you protect yourself from blood clots?” Register today and submit your MTS questions!

January PEP Talk: Learn How to Take Action and Advocate to Help Stop the Clot®

Tuesday, January 10, 2023, 7 p.m. ET

Did you know there is little federal funding for blood clot education and awareness efforts in the United States? Think your voice does not matter? Think otherwise. Learn how to advocate Congress for more blood clot education and awareness efforts as well as how to communicate with your state representatives and work with NBCA on policy initiatives.

Watch Previous PEP Talks

Mini PEP Talk Webcast Series

Mini PEP Talks are shorter, pre-recorded discussions with experts in VTE.

Episode 1: Covid-19 Treatment Options for Blood Clot Patients on Anticoagulants

Guest: Dr. Caroline Cromwell, NBCA Medical and Scientific Advisory Board Member and Director of Thrombosis Services at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

Episode 2: Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS), Causes, Treatments and  the CTRACT Study

Guest: Dr. Suresh Vedantham, NBCA Medical and Scientific Advisory Board Member and Professor of Radiology and Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Episode 3: Holiday Travel Tips for VTE Prevention

Learn travel tips from fellow blood clot patients Leslie Lake, NBCA President and  Todd Robertson, NBCA Board Member.

Episode 4: Menstrual Bleeding and Anticoagulation – What Patients Need to Know 

Guest: Dr. Bethany Samuelson Bannow, hematologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University.

Episode 5: Lupus Anticoagulants and the Testing Required for Diagnosis

Episode 6: Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) and Heart Health

Episode 7: Blood Clots and Mental Health

It’s normal for blood clot patients to struggle with their mental health after a pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis diagnosis. That’s why we’re pleased to share our latest Mini PEP Talk, Blood Clots and Mental Health. Our guest is Dr. Deb Elliott-DeSorbo, a licensed clinical psychologist with the St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute and blood clot survivor. This discussion is a must-watch for anyone who has experienced issues around mental health after a blood clot.

Are you interested in sponsoring a PEP Talk? Email Tarin Patrikis at for more information.

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