The Society will honor Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) with the 2009 ASH Award for Public Service. Established in 1997, the Public Service Award is presented each year by ASH to an elected public official who has demonstrated unparalleled leadership on issues of importance to hematology research and/or practice.
Rep. Matsui has been active in health-care issues, including funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and stem cell research. Prior to her election as Speaker, Rep. Matsui served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, where she was a strong proponent of increased investments in health research and helped secure funding to double the budget for NIH.
Rep. Matsui represents the Sacramento area in California and first took office in March 2005, after winning a special election to fill the remainder of the term of her late husband, Rep. Robert Matsui, who died from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) on January 1, 2005.
Since taking office, Rep. Matsui has been a champion of health-care issues. She is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees most non-Medicare/Medicaid health-related issues in the House and was one of the Committees responsible for drafting the House version of health reform legislation. Because of her personal experience with MDS, Rep. Matsui has been particularly active in issues related to bone marrow failures and hematologic malignancies, and has sponsored legislation to improve research and treatment of bone marrow diseases. She has also helped lead congressional efforts to secure dedicated blood cancer research funding at the Department of Defense.
The Society applauds Rep. Matsui’s dedication to supporting health-care and research issues in Congress and her backing of hematologic issues that are a priority to ASH.
ASH is also recognizing Melanie Bloom, national spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), with the 2009 ASH Award for Outstanding Service for her dedication to increasing public awareness of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT). The Society presents this award each year to individuals in both the public and private sectors who have displayed effective “behind-the-scenes” leadership in areas relevant to the mission of the Society.
Following the death of her husband, award-winning NBC TV journalist David Bloom, who died from complications related to DVT while on assignment in Iraq, Ms. Bloom has worked to share her personal story to raise awareness and educate patients, health-care professionals, and policy makers about reducing the risk of DVT.
Ms. Bloom has participated in national media campaigns, spoken at hospitals and medical conferences throughout the country, helped to garner support to declare March as DVT Awareness Month, served on the Steering Committee for the National Quality Forum to help establish consensus on DVT treatment guidelines, and taken part in Public Service Announcements in an effort to raise awareness of the public health problem posed by DVT. Ms. Bloom also spoke as part of the ASH Special Session on Venous Thromboembolism at the 2007 ASH Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
The 2009 Outstanding Service and Public Service Awards will be formally announced prior to today’s Plenary Scientific Session at 1:30 p.m.
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