FWGBD is very pleased to report that our founding President, Dr. Andra H. James (Andi), has been awarded the HTRS (Hemostasis and Thrombosis Research Society) Lifetime Achievement Award, at their 2017 Scientific Symposium on April 8, 2017.
Andi is an Ob/Gyn with a singular grasp of benign hematology. Her understanding of, and concern about bleeding and clotting disorders in women was informed and enhanced by her Fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Duke, where she spent three years in the laboratory of Dr. Russell Ware; her Ob/Gyn residency at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, incubator of advances in knowledge about hemophilia and hemostasis; by her graduate training in Public Health at Johns Hopkins; and by having been a nurse-midwife at the start of her career.
Andi’s training and experience brought out in relief that a woman’s hemostatic and reproductive environment are one. She knew the importance of a cross-discipline approach to women’s health and, particularly, to achieving the best health outcomes for women/girls with blood disorders. She is often heard stating: “ob/gyns have to show hematologists the reproductive side of women’s bleeding and clotting, and hematologists must teach ob/gyns the hemostasis side.”
Always the driver, making things happen, Andi has published 100+ peer-reviewed articles in the last decade, the majority of which concern women/girls blood disorders. A third of these articles appeared in the leading, refereed obstetrics and gynecology journals. Many of the female blood disorders articles are in the major hemostasis and thrombosis journals. Dr. James understands the integral connectedness of disciplines and study areas and uses her knowledge of one area to enhance the clinical practice, research and patient outcomes in each of the others.
At Duke University where Andi is Consulting Professor, she catalyzed the University’s efforts in women’s hemostasis and thrombosis. And her colleagues there, recognizing the critical blend of expertise and caring she possesses, seek her opinion about the challenging issues of blood disorders in women and girls. Her incisive evaluation of a case or situation has physicians from around the world enlisting Andi’s expert advice about bleeding and clotting problems in their patients.
“Solution-driven” well characterizes Dr. Andi James. She saw a need to improve the communication among healthcare providers working with women and girls with blood disorders and encourage the exchange of best practices. She was passionate about creating an organization dedicated to provider education and information in the area of women’s blood disorders, thereby benefiting the quality of patient care. To that end she enlisted Drs. Roshni Kulkarni and Barbara Konkle in 2009, and together they started the Foundation for Women & Girls with Blood Disorders (FWGBD.org). FWGBD was incorporated and achieved non-profit designation within a year. Its focus is educating providers—across disciplines—about the spectrum of blood disorders affecting women and girls. Early diagnosis and optimal treatment and management of women’s blood disorders depend, in an important way, on collaboration between hematologists and ob/gyns. Andi has been a force nonpareil in working toward bridging hematology and obstetrics/gynecology. In fact, many will affirm Andi is the bridge.
We congratulate Dr. James on this important capstone in her remarkable career and life.