World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) Dental Committee member Rebecca Schaffer’s achievements are impressive. Hailing from Arizona, U.S.A, a friend living with Von Willebrand’s disease and working with HIV/AIDS patients inspired her to support our community. She has lectured at the international level on bleeding disorders, on various topics related to special care dentistry and on methods to improve communication and collaboration across dental and medical specialties. She has served as vice chair of the liaison committee for the Council of Dentistry for People with Disabilities for the Special Care Dentistry Association. She has also co-authored a chapter on Quality Management and Improvement for Health Care Centers for the National Network for Oral Health Access. Schaffer has also acted as a critical summary writer for the American Dental Association (ADA) Evidence Based Dentistry (EBD) website. All these facts—and many more—make her a praiseworthy recipient of a 2018 Hemophilia Alliance Travel Grant.
The Hemophilia Alliance Travel Fund allows U.S.A.-based WFH multidisciplinary committee members to attend WFH international meetings and conferences. Schaffer’s grant allowed her to be part of the 2018 WFH World Congress in Glasgow. In her estimation, it was a rousing success, as the Dental Committee was able to achieve many of its goals during the session, including sharing the progress and challenges experienced with healthcare professionals, and, most importantly, making progress in helping colleagues understand the importance of oral health and the role it plays in overall health for those living with a bleeding disorder.
Schaffer’s level of professional achievement and personal engagement is typical of many volunteer members serving on WFH committees. The relationship the WFH has with members goes both ways, as the WFH also has a responsibility to invest in their personal and professional growth. The Hemophilia Alliance shares this belief and recognizes the rewards our community reaps thanks to our committee members’ continued development.