Letter to Our Community
For over three decades I treated families with bleeding disorders, working towards finding better treatments for patients and preventing complications of their disorders through education, advocacy, and research. My work was most gratifying when I could help someone realize his or her full potential, living a life not limited by a diagnosis or its complications. Diagnosing and treating boys and girls, men and women, parents, grandparents and family members was fulfilling personally and professionally. Conducting clinical and laboratory research helped me to understand how to develop and elevate treatments to new levels, seeking cures and improving the quality of life for not only my patients but for everyone in the bleeding disorders community. Recently, I have spent time in the biopharmaceutical industry trying to understand how to bring new therapies to patients globally. My past experiences as a physician, educator, researcher, and an industry partner have all focused on treating patients and their families and have provided me with the experiences and knowledge to take on this challenging role as your new President and CEO for the National Hemophilia Foundation, a role I take on behalf of the entire bleeding disorders community and one that I see as the pinnacle of my career – serving you.
The landscape of the bleeding disorders community is changing and there are several challenges ahead of us. Gene therapy and novel technologies and treatments bring us new opportunities, and with that comes many questions as well. We will face these challenges together, working jointly to find solutions. Through collaboration with patients, families, chapters, partners, supporters, medical professionals, patient organizations, government agencies, and all stakeholders in the bleeding disorders community, everything is possible. I believe in unity, and my past leadership roles in these areas puts us in a unique position to move forward in ways we haven’t had the opportunity to do so ever before. To unlock our greatest potential in such an exciting time we must all support each other – this is what will define our success.
Moving forward, we’ll continue to build on where we’re making progress and face head-on the areas where we can improve. We must understand that living up to our potential means earning it every day. My professional career has been about about leading with actions, not with words. It’s been about earning and sustaining respect of others. It’s about showing up for our community. It’s about accepting nothing less than our very best—then asking ourselves how we can do even better.
This is an exciting time for the bleeding disorders community as research is progressing forward in unimaginable ways, but there is still more to be done. This is why one of my primary objectives will be to increase our funding to support innovative research on new therapies, and then educating stakeholders on these advancements. Advocating on behalf of those impacted by bleeding disorders with our legislators locally and in Washington D.C. for better access, including access to care, to treatment centers, to physicians, and to new treatments will be ever more important.
My objectives are achievable with your support. I look forward to working with you in our joint pursuit to improve the outcomes for OUR community.
Dr. Leonard Valentino
President and CEO
National Hemophilia Foundation