Over the next several months, Alain Baumann will be hosting question & answer sessions with World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH) leaders. Today we hear the thoughts and opinions of Glenn Pierce, MD, PhD, Medical Member, U.S.A.
How did you get involved with the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH)?
I attended my first WFH Congress in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. in 1990. By the time I attended my second WFH Congress in 1996, in Dublin, Ireland, I was hooked. I was so impressed with the diversity of backgrounds and life experiences of the people involved with the WFH. Such diversity, and yet, we all shared a common bond of knowing what it felt like to bleed into a joint or knowing someone who was struggling with the effects of hemophilia. That powerful connection with others who have bleeding disorders inspired me to want to get more involved with the WFH.
What makes you proud to be part of the WFH?
I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to work on diverse problems shared by the entire global bleeding disorders community. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to support the unique needs of those without adequate access to treatment. My involvement has shown me that the WFH plays a unique role in advocating for progress throughout the global community.
What do you think is the main impact the WFH has had in recent years?
That the WFH has been a staunch defender of blood supply safety, and that it has also been a strong advocate for those without proper access to treatment.
What is the main impact you hope the WFH will have in the future?
That’s an easy question to answer: ensuring Treatment for All.
What do you think is one area where the WFH could improve?
I think we could develop a more comprehensive blueprint—in other words, a step-by-step plan—for achieving Treatment for All.
Next to your involvement with the WFH Board, what is your personal involvement in the bleeding disorders community in your country or region?
I have been president of the US National Hemophilia Foundation on three occasions. I am currently on the Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF), the medical body which makes policy for the American bleeding disorders community.
If you had $1 million to donate to the bleeding disorders community, where would you like to see your donation go?
I would invest the $1 million in developing a plan to achieve our goal of Treatment for All. If I had the opportunity to guide this plan, I would steer it towards gene therapy. In my opinion, gene therapy is the best viable solution to make hemophilia treatment accessible to everyone.
To read about how other WFH leaders answered these questions, please click here.