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William F. Connell School of Nursing

Connell School to further thrombosis education

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On October 29, 2009, the North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF) held its first fundraiser, the proceeds of which will go toward thrombosis education at the Connell School of Nursing, as well as helping to build the NATF's newly established endowment fund.

Double-eagle Boston College alumnus Henry Hagopian served as chairman of the event in honor of two doctors and a staff member from Brigham and Women's Hospital who were instrumental in helping him recover from deep vein thrombosis. Dr. John Abraham, Dr. Marie D. Gerard-Herman, and administrative assistant Courtney Cassidy were honored for their lifesaving work.

Melanie Bloom, national patient spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent deep vein thrombosis, was the honorary chairwoman and keynote speaker. Bloom is the widow of NBC correspondent David Bloom, who died in April 2003 from deep vein thrombosis while he was embedded with an Army armored division covering the Iraq war. Over the past 6 years, she has become a tireless advocate for raising awareness of this silent epidemic. The event also featured NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff as emcee and Red Sox icon Johnny Pesky as special guest.

Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins and travels to the lungs, and is the leading cause of preventable hospital death in the United States, claiming 200,000 adult lives annually. The disease is such a public health burden that in 2008 the surgeon general released a call to action to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), stating that "without the joint efforts of all stakeholders, including clinicians and families, the problem [DVT and PE deaths] will only worsen as the population ages."

The North American Thrombosis Forum is a 501(c) 3 non-profit agency dedicated to patients and health professionals working together to enhance prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease through responsible health education and communication.

With the help of proceeds from the fundraiser, the Connell School will be able to broaden training and education about the dangers of thrombosis, working toward improved patient care and outcomes and increased prevention of this disease.

Pictured: BC alumnus and event chairman Henry Hagopian with Connell School dean Susan Gennaro at the fundraiser