A Letter from Founding Board President, Dr. Andra James

October 1, 2023

Dear FWGBD Community,

It is with profound gratitude that I write to you today to announce that I am stepping down from my position as Board President of the Foundation for Women & Girls with Blood Disorders (FWGBD). 

It has been an honor to serve as a steward of this organization for the last 13 years, and looking back on my tenure, I am immensely proud of how far we’ve come. Together with you – our members, providers, staff, fellow board members, donors, and patients – we have raised awareness of, and significantly strengthened medical services for, women and girls+ with blood disorders. We have remained steadfast in our commitment to ensure that all women and girls+ with blood disorders are correctly diagnosed and their health optimally managed at every life stage, and I look forward to continuing to support this mission as a board member and in my new role as Chair of the Medical Advisory Committee.

As such, I am delighted to announce that I have handed over the proverbial leadership reins to my fellow board member, Dr. Sarah H. O’Brien, who has stepped into the role of Board President effective October 1, 2023.

There is no one better suited than Sarah to lead this organization into the future. Not only does she possess the ideal background and experience from a clinical perspective, but she has long been a champion of the women and girls+ that we serve, and has a demonstrated history of leadership, both within our organization and our collective fields. From her integrity and thoughtfulness to her passion and decade-plus of experience within FWGBD, Sarah embodies all the tangible and intangible qualities that it will take to lead and represent the organization in the next phase of our growth. I am confident that Sarah will keep us on a continued path toward excellence and that her enthusiasm for the work will be a strong asset as we continue to advocate for women and girls+ with blood disorders, educate providers, and nurture the next generation of healthcare leaders.

My top priority in the coming weeks will be to ensure a seamless transition and to support Sarah as she settles into her role. We both recognize this moment as an opportunity to help build the future of FWGBD by meeting the demand for education on the overlapping issues that women and girls+ with blood disorders experience within the overlapping disciplines of obstetrics, oncology, and hematology. Under her leadership, FWGBD will also continue to prioritize areas of greatest need including sickle cell disease, postpartum hemorrhage, and lethal clotting issues related to hormones and pregnancy.

Finally, I want to extend a personal thank you to everyone who has supported me and this organization over the last 13 years. Our success would not have been possible without you. A special shout out to my fellow founding board members, Barbara Konkle and Roshni Kulkarni: we’ve been on this ride together since the beginning, and their vision and dedication have been critical to moving the mission of FWGBD forward in leaps and bounds. It will be a privilege to serve alongside them on the board as founding board members.

Thank you again for your continued support of the organization and for welcoming Dr. Sarah H. O’Brien, your new Board President. We encourage you to reach out and schedule a time to meet with her so that we may explore ways to partner and advance our collective mission in 2023 and beyond.

Andra H. James, MD, MPH