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MSW, LCSW, BACS, of the Louisiana
Center for Bleeding and Clotting
Disorders, recognizes that social work is a key part of bleeding disorders
care, especially at an HTC. By making it a priority to serve the uniquely local
needs of her community, Connie has had a life-changing impact on her patients.
Connie also serves
as a role model for others in the field, and is known for going above and
beyond to help her fellow social workers improve their skillsets. By presenting
her with the Social Worker of the Year, NHF recognizes Connie’s outstanding
service to the blood and bleeding disorders community beyond her day-to-day
Jamie McCreery, MS, CGC, of Versiti Blood Center in
Wisconsin, is set apart by her expertise and remarkably patient-centric
approach. She has opened the world of genetic counseling to her community by
helping them understand testing options; the importance of responsible test
utilization; and the role genetics play in hemophilia, von Willebrand disease,
and other rare blood and bleeding disorders.
NHF recognizes the leading role Jamie has taken in
assisting, guiding and educating families and individuals on the genetic
inheritance of blood and bleeding disorders, and honors her efforts by naming
her Genetic Counselor of the Year.
Anita Wood, PT, is an asset to both her patients and
colleagues at the Louisiana Center for Bleeding and Clotting Disorders. She
serves her patients not just through exercises and stretches, also but through
frequent and vocal advocacy. She’s
struck the special balance of uplifting and empowering her patients while also
educating other physical therapy professionals on how to safely treat patients
with blood or bleeding disorders.
NHF honors Anita’s ability to provide great care for members
of the bleeding disorders community, and to inspire other physical therapists
to do the same. Congratulations, Anita, on being the Physical Therapist of the
During 30 years of service to the bleeding disorders
community, Brenda Nielsen, MSN, RN, has accumulated a wide and impressive range
of accomplishments. She was the first nurse coordinator at the University of
North Carolina Hemophilia Treatment Center, founded the first camp for people
with bleeding disorders in North Carolina, and spearheaded the passage of
legislation establishing the advisory council on rare diseases within the
School of Medicine of the University of North Carolina.
By selecting Brenda for the Nurse of the Year award, NFH’s
Nursing Working Group honors not only her legacy, but also the quality of life
experienced by her patients, and the growing awareness of bleeding disorders
among her colleagues and future health care professionals.
Living with Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia, an ultra-rare
disorder, could be daunting for some. But for Esmeralda Vásquez, it’s her
reason for giving back, raising her voice, and being a truly powerful advocate
for all people with rare blood and bleeding disorders. Over the years,
Esmeralda’s name has become synonymous with health equity and patient-centric
care. She is recognized as a true champion for subject matter expert voices within the
research process, and is the ultimate example of ensuring that everyone’s
The Mary M. Gooley Humanitarian of the Year award honors a non-provider HTC staff member who is dedicated to the families at his or her HTC and demonstrates a commitment to their care. By presenting Esmerelda with the award, NFH recognizes her
caring and humane spirit in her work to improve the quality of life for
patients and their families.
Ziggy Douglas, the executive director of the
Hawaii Chapter who passed away in 2020, was known for his passion for
empowering the next generation of community leaders. Like Ziggy, Pacific
Northwest Bleeding Disorders, based in Oregon, has shaped youth programs and
activities that let children and teens find their voice. Through educational
programs and youth-led conferences, the chapter is constantly encouraging
connection and growth for young community members.
By honoring Pacific Northwest Bleeding Disorders, NHF recognizes the youthful,
West Coast spirit of Ziggy Douglas. Chapter Director Madonna McGuire Smith
accepted the award.