e-Newsletter - July 2015
Advancing the Prevention, Early Diagnosis, and
Treatment of Life-Threatening Blood Clots


Happy New Year...to Us 


On July 1st, the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) rang in its new 2015/2016 fiscal year with a renewed sense of commitment to its organizational mission, and a new volunteer leadership team, including a new Executive Committee and several new Board members.


Volunteer leadership is central to NBCA's organizational culture, as 12 years ago our founding members were patients and medical professionals, several of whom continue to serve the organization today. Sharing a common concern and purpose, this small group of individuals sought to build a national organization to advocate for those affected by blood clots and clotting disorders.  


Each Board member at that time, and most still today, have been touched personally by blood clots or blood clotting disorders. Most importantly, the goal they set out to achieve was realized.  Today, thanks to their efforts and the efforts of so many other volunteer leaders who have served our organization, NBCA is the leading patient advocacy group in the arena of venous thromboembolism in the United States.  


We extend our appreciation to those volunteer leaders who have served NBCA and who have shared their time, talent, and often their treasure too. We're also enthusiastic as we transition to a new era of volunteer leadership within NBCA, and we look forward to the new directions and opportunities we will pursue under their stewardship.  

A Time of Transition

The National Blood Clot Alliance extends its sincere gratitude to  Kathy Smith, past Board President (pictured immediately below) , for her strong leadership during her two years in that role.  Kathy first became interested in educating and building awareness about blood clots when her own family was affected. That experience led her to NBCA, where she has enthusiastically supported NBCA's efforts to Stop the Clot ever  since.  


After joining NBCA's Board of Directors in 2011, Kathy became President in 2013. Under her leadership, NBCA successfully ushered in a number of important changes: Kathy was instrumental in encouraging and facilitating NBCA's move from New York to the Washington, D.C. suburb of Rockville, MD, relocating the organization's headquarters to within short range of Congress and other federal agencies of importance to our mission. During her tenure, as NBCA underwent significant staffing changes, Kathy led volunteer efforts that helped to maintain key services and activities. She helped to guide new staff into place, including a new CEO, while keeping the important work of NBCA moving forward. With Kathy's help, NBCA finalized the last year of the organization's previous five-year cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new cooperative agreement also was secured during her tenure last year, providing NBCA the opportunity to further fortify its public awareness efforts. 

Kathy is presently the CEO of the Center for the Arts. In addition to her work on the NBCA Board, she also is a member of the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Society of North America Board of Directors and past Chair of Community Health Charities of Maryland. 


Now, as NBCA enters into its 2015/2016 fiscal year, and following our recent Board elections, we enthusiastically welcome Sara Wassenaar, DDS, NBCA's new Board President (pictured right), to lead our efforts into the future. 


Dr. Wassenaar practices general dentistry in Alma, Michigan, with her husband Dr. Richard Frutiger, and is active in many of her local community organizations and has served on the boards of several local, state, and national dental organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mid-Michigan Medical System and is Past-President of the Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot Board of Directors. 

Dr. Wassenaar's involvement in NBCA comes through the tragic loss of her daughter, Anna, in 2010, due to a pulmonary embolism. In her memory, Dr. Wassenaar's family created Anna's Team to raise funds and awareness about the dangers of blood clots. Anna was an avid fitness enthusiast, and Anna's Team carries on that legacy by participating in athletic events in her memory. Anna's Team continues to grow, with representation at events all across the country. To date, the team has raised more than $50,000 for NBCA to honor Anna's memory. You can learn more about Anna's Team here.
The NBCA community is delighted to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Wassenaar and to benefit from her leadership of the Board of Directors.     

NBCA 2015/2016 New Executive Committee 


The Executive Committee of NBCA's Board of Directors is comprised of our Board President, Sara Wassenaar, DDS, (pictured above), as well as newly appointed Vice President Eric O'Connor, our newly appointed Board Secretary Kay Holcombe, and Teresa Bordeaux, who will continue to serve on the Executive Committee as Treasurer and share her important expertise with the Board and organization.     


Eric O'Connor, NBCA's  newly elected Board Vice President (pictured left) is a family man, ultra marathon runner, and the successful owner of a wedding photography company. 


Looking at Eric today, you would never think that just a few years back, in 2011, he had a near fatal encounter with multiple pulmonary embolisms. 


As an NBCA volunteer and Board member, Eric has provided leadership and a spectrum of expertise for NBCA in developing the organization's website and providing strategic direction for social media outreach to advance NBCA's educational mission. He also recently raised more than $12,000 to support NBCA's mission by running for 24 hours on a tread mill as part of his Tread24 campaign.  


As an NBCA Board member for the past few years, and 

as  NBCA's new  Board Secretary,  Kay Holcombe (pictured  right)  brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the organization.   

Presently, she is a  Senior Vice President for Science Policy at BIO, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and Kay has had a long and successful career developing and implementing corporate policies and responses to government regulatory and policy initiatives. 

Kay's  background and experience play an important role in NBCA's government and pharmaceutical relations. 

Teresa Bordeaux (pictured left), who will now be serving her second term as NBCA Board Treasurer, began her career in public accounting and later worked with the North Carolina Local Government Commission in the city of Raleigh. 

Teresa is currently a Technical Manager with the Peer Review Program of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Durham, North Carolina. 

Teresa's husband Larry developed portal vein thrombosis in 2007. Since that time, Teresa has been committed to spreading awareness about clotting issues, including those like Larry's that don't involve the extremities.    
                         by Randy Fenninge r

The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) held annual elections in June, and I congratulate and welcome the new officers and directors who were selected. 


Our new President, Sara Wassenaar, hails from Alma, MI.  Eric O'Connor, newly elected Vice President, lives in Wheaton, IL. The new Secretary, Kay Holcombe, comes from Gaithersburg, MD. Our Treasurer, Teresa Bordeaux, is from Cary, NC. New members of the Board of Directors, Caryl Mahoney, Justin Barch and Steve Rodner, are based in New York, Maryland and New Jersey, respectively. Traci Wilkes Smith, also of New York, was re-elected to another term as a member of the Board of Directors. 


Thanks to all of you for your commitment to NBCA and its mission to reduce death and disability caused by blood clots. The entire NBCA staff looks forward to working with you and supporting your volunteer efforts.  


I list the hometowns and states of these NBCA volunteers not to teach a lesson in US geography, but to demonstrate the geographic diversity of our leadership. To me, this is an important sign that NBCA's efforts to get its message out across the country are working. All of the newly elected officers and directors, as well all of the other Board members, come to NBCA leadership either through their own volunteer participation at the local level or through connections with people who are already active and who encourage the participation of friends and neighbors. Ten states are represented on the Board and volunteer events occur in many more.


Welcome New NBCA Board Members


NBCA also extends a warm welcome to three new Board Members this month:


Justin Barch, who is Director of Corporate Sales for the Association of Financial Professionals.


Caryl Mahoney, a leading executive in human resources, with extensive experience in organizational development and strategic planning. 


Stephen Rodner, an attorney with Pryor Cashman's Media and Entertainment and Intellectual Property Groups. 


Read more about NBCA's volunteer leadership team here.

Community Connection

A Texas-Sized Thank You!

NBCA sends a big thank you to event organizers Kara King, Ben King, and Patti Kelly Niewolny, as well as their team of sponsors, donors,  volunteers, and participants, for making the 5th Annual Austin Stop the Clot Race  a record-breaking success. Thanks to all of their efforts, this event gets bigger and better every year! The team is already at work on next year's race, so mark your calendars for May 15, 2016. You can get more information about this event on the Austin Stop the Clot Facebook page.




Miami Marlins Host Social Media Night Supporting Blood Clot Awareness

Tuesday, August 4th vs. New York Mets - 7:10 PM
Join us for an  evening to combine your passion for the Marlins, social media, and blood clot awareness in a fun-filled baseball game, when the Miami Marlins host the New York Mets!  Lots of surprises in store.  T hank you to Charles Sano, a PE survivor, NBCA  volunteer,and the Miami Marlins Director of Groups & Special Events, for bringing this wonderful opportunity to NBCA. Purchase your tickets  here  and do your part to raise awareness. For more information, please email jelkin@stoptheclot.org.



The Deveraux Hubbard II Run, Walk and Trot to Stop Blood Clots, Saturday, August 8th

The second annual event in memory of Deveraux Hubbard II takes place on August 8, 2015 in Peoria, IL. Deveraux passed away in 2013 from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 19. His family and friends created this event to raise awareness about blood clots and the clotting disorders that can lead to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Proceeds from this event and others  like it support the mission of the National Blood Clot Alliance. Click here to register or make a donation to support this event. Your participation is greatly appreciated.




The 5th Annual Jim Flanagan Memorial Golf Outing, Saturday, August 15th

A successful and fun outing in memory of Jim Flanagan, who passed away from a blood clot. His family has created this event as a tribute to him that brings family and friends together to support the National Blood Clot Alliance. For more information, click here.







Anna's Team at the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, August 28th - 30th

Join Anna's Team at the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon, the weekend of August 28-30th. The race weekend consists of five stand-alone triathlons, including the Life Time Kids Tri Chicago, SuperSprint and the Transamerica Chicago Triathlon sprint, international and pro races. For more information click   here.



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National Blood Clot Alliance 

110 North Washington Street | Suite 328 | Rockville | MD | 20850



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