Friday, November 21, 2008

One of Our Own

I'm thrilled that Val Bias is the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Hemophilia Foundation. It's truly a momentous occasion. As far as I can tell, Val is the first CEO who is actually affected by Hemophilia. I've met and worked with him on a committee or two here and there...even better he has Hemophilia B!

I wish that I had been able to see Mr. Bias' opening remarks at last week's NHF Annual Meeting, but my trip didn't allow. I have been reading and listening to what other leaders in the community are saying about his appointment and I feel confident and excited that Val will facilitate a new dialog among the various agencies that serve our community.

The Bleeding Disorders community has a long history of advocacy. Unfortunately, the blood scandal of the 80's and early 90's tore our community apart. There is much blame and fault to go around....why didn't our advocacy agencies protect us? Where were the checks and balances between the FDA, NIH, NHF and pharma? It's been difficult to unify the community.

The community has been fractured for many years with less than clear vision and direction. Val Bias has been a relentless advocate for the community and brings something new to the position of CEO - a personal stake in how the agency moves forward.

Congratulations, Val. Now the rest of the Bleeding Disorders community will know what we've been saying for years....Factor 9's rock!

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