On behalf of Novo Nordisk’s BioPharm Medical, we would like to welcome you to our Hemophilia & Rare Bleeding Disorders website. We invite you to explore the website and encourage you to visit the site for updates and news items. The main goal for the Medical Affairs team at Novo Nordisk, Inc. is to improve patients' lives by being medical leaders through developing and communicating medical knowledge and providing expertise regarding our products and disease states.
Beyond developing innovative products, Novo Nordisk, Inc. aspires to meet the broad goal of Changing Possibilities in Hemophilia. For the medical team, this means engaging with the community to better understand the challenges of living with or caring for somebody with a bleeding disorder, where current approaches have been successful in driving better outcomes, and where unmet needs remain.
We started RareBleedingDisorders.com to connect patients, caregivers, families, and others in their community with reliable, easy-to-understand, and practical information that can help you better understand your disease. In this effort, we were fortunate to have patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals contribute to development of this content and commit to keeping the content fresh.
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If you have questions we haven’t answered here, please feel free to reach out—we’d love to hear from you!
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Past Web Team Members
Shreya Sabharwal, PharmD
BioPharm Medical Affairs Fellow 2014-2015
Senior Manager, Medical Affairs
Missy Frey, RN, BSN, CPN
Mary Jane (Missy) Frey, RN, BSN, CPN attended University of Detroit, Mercy for her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing. She also took some graduate level classes at Central Michigan University. Missy worked in the Children’s Hospital of Michigan from 1978 to 1989 in various roles ranging from a Staff Nurse to the Clinical Manager and Coordinator. Missy took her skills and expertise to Karmanos Cancer Institute as a Bone Marrow Transplant Coordinator (BMT) until 1998. After a few years of working as a Business Analyst and a BMT, she came back to the Children’s Hospital of Michigan as the Clinical Manager and Coordinator of the Hemophilia Treatment Center.
Missy has been involved in the bleeding disorder community since 1982 and has seen the unique issues this community has faced (such as HIV and Hepatitis infections) as well as improved changes in treatment modalities including new factor replacement products and innovative reconstitution devices. Over the years she has cared for 8 Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia patients from newborn to adults with minor and major bleeding events that posed unique treatment challenges. She continues to stay aware of any new developments in treatment options for patients with Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia that will have a positive impact on their quality of life.
Sue Geraghty, RN, MBA
Sue Geraghty, RN, MBA received an Associate of Arts degree in nursing from Lander College in 1977, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing in 1980 from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Master’s in Business (MBA) from University of Colorado Denver in 1990. She worked as a Nurse Coordinator at the University of Colorado, Denver Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center for 25 years from where she retired in 2013. Currently, she is working as an independent consultant in the areas of hemophilia and health care education. Prior to working at the HTC, Ms. Geraghty worked in orthopedics, where she was initially introduced to patients with hemophilia. She is certified as an Orthopedic Nurse Clinician through the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses where she is still an active member.
During her time as a nurse coordinator at the Hemophilia Treatment Center she has sat on a number of national committees including the Nursing working Group for the National Hemophilia Foundation. She has spoken locally, nationally and internationally and has been published in many peer reviewed journals. Her areas of interest within the hemophilia community include the adult patients with bleeding disorders, patients with inhibitors and orthopedic issues.
Chris Guelcher, MS, APRN, PPCNP-BC
Chris Guelcher, MS, APRN, PPCNP-BC received her Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing in 1989 from Georgetown University and her Masters of Science with certification as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in 1997 from the University of Maryland. Chris worked in an inpatient Hematology/Oncology unit at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and later at Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chris has been the Program Coordinator of the Hemostasis and Thrombosis Program at Children’s National Health System (CNHS) since 1997.
Chris is a past member of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) Nursing Working Group and is now serving for a second time on the Region III/Mid-Atlantic Regional Executive Committee. Chris continues to serve on the Board of the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN) which she joined in 2009. She is the current Chair of the ATHN Community Relations and Communications Subcommittee. She was a member of the Hemophilia and Thrombosis Research Society (HTRS) program planning committee for the 2010 and 2011 annual meetings. Chris was one of the nurse planners for the first meeting of the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Summit of North America (THSNA) in 2012. She was recently appointed to be the nurse liaison to the THSNA Board of Directors. Chris helped develop and update hematology drug information sheets for parents as well as a hemophilia brochure for patients and families at the request of The Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Nurses (APHON). She also serves on the Certification and Continuing Education Committee and the Programming Subcommittee of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology (ASPHO).
Sarah Hawk, PA-C
Sarah Hawk, PA-C attended Davidson College in North Carolina for her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology. She then went to Bowman Gray School of Medicine at the Wake Forest University in North Carolina for her Physician Assistant Program. After graduation, she worked as a Hematology/Oncology Physician Assistant at Bowman Gray School of Medicine. She took her expertise to Oklahoma Center for Bleeding Disorders at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center as a Certified Physician Assistant.
Sarah has been with the Oklahoma Center for Bleeding Disorders for over 25 years. This is the only center in the state. They follow pediatric and adult patients and provide bedside consultation at six general and orthopedic hospitals. One of Sarah’s favorite activities is attending the center’s summer camp for up to 90 boys and girls with bleeding disorders and their siblings.
Skye Peltier, MPH, PA-C
Skye Peltier, PA-C, MPH graduated from the Augsburg College Physician Assistant (PA) Program in 2005. She worked in the adult Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota and then moved to the pediatric Hematology/Oncology program at Children's Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota.
In 2014, she began working with the hemophilia program at Oregon Health and Science University with both adults and children. She earned a Public Health Master’s Degree in Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota in 1999. She worked as a health educator for TAMS (Teenage Medical Services) before going to PA school. Skye has severe factor VII deficiency and has a special interest in rare bleeding disorders. She enjoys traveling and has done medical volunteer work in Mexico and China.
Michelle L. Witkop, DNP, FNP-BC
Dr. Michelle Witkop went to Northwestern Michigan College for her Associate degree in Nursing and then to Ferris State University for her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She then continued her education with a Master’s degree in Nursing from Grand Valley State University and eventually her Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Oakland University. She started her nursing career as a Staff Nurse at the Munson Medical Center. Michelle worked as a Case Manager and a Cancer Research Coordinator at Munson Medical Center. With her education and work experience, she then started to work as a Nurse Practitioner first in the Chronic Pain Clinic then in Pain Management. She continued to work as a Nurse Practitioner in Palliative Care Consult Services. In 2002, Michelle started to work in the Northern Regional Michigan Bleeding Disorders Center and is continuing her work there as a Nurse Practitioner. She has also been an Adjunct Faculty at the Munson Family Practice Center since 2010.
Michelle has been a Nurse Practitioner practicing at the Northern Regional Bleeding Disorders Center in Traverse City MI. She is the Vice-Chair of the National Hemophilia Foundation Nursing Work Group, the Co-Chair of NHF’s Annual Meeting for 2014 and 2015, and a charter member of the American Thrombosis & Hemostasis Network’s National Hemophilia Program Coordination Center Advisory Committee. Michelle background includes extensive experience in pain management. She has been the principal investigator for several hemophilia pain research studies including the National Pain Survey and has published multiple articles on that research as well as lectured extensively on the topic.
Patients & Caregivers
Barb Forss is a FVII deficient woman who is active in the bleeding disorders community. The non-profit she founded, the LadyBugs Foundation, along with Comprehensive Health Education Services, is responsible for creating an annual Retreat for people and families living with FVII Deficiency. Barb has lived with FVII deficiency for 63 years, and enjoys an active lifestyle on a farm with her husband, 2 dogs and a 34 year old horse!! Her passion is helping to empower those who need support.
Luis A. Garcia is currently an electrical engineer at Bonneville Power Administration in Washington State. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Michigan State University in 2010. He was diagnosed with Glanzmann's Thrombasthenia (GT) at three months of age and has two other siblings who also have GT.
Justin Levesque specializes in the critical analysis of images and their impact on social norms and community expectations. He currently lives in Portland, Maine and runs his own design studio, Shop Geometry. He serves as Creative Director for The Hemophilia Alliance of Maine and is Director of FOLX, a program which celebrates and acknowledges creativity in the bleeding disorders community.
Vanessa Inuzuka, RN
Vanessa Inuzuka, RN was diagnosed with Factor XIII Deficiency at 3 weeks old when she experienced bleeding from her umbilical cord. She was the first of three siblings to be diagnosed. As a child her family was always active in the local hemophilia chapters where they resided. Growing up she often volunteered her time putting together mailings and helping set up events. She has attended Camp Bold Eagle and Eagle Outpost. She currently volunteers and attends several programs and events throughout the year with her local chapter such as infusion weekends, hemophilia walks, zoo lights, Der Dutchman dinners, and FamOhio to name a few. She has participated in panels for women with bleeding disorders. With her mother she has reached out to other families with Factor XIII Deficiency. She plans to maintain an active role in the bleeding disorder community.
Darcy M. Zwier
Darcy Zwier holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is the Founder and Executive Director of Wisconsin Bleeding Disorders Network. She started the chapter in 2009 to serve those with hemophilia and other inherited bleeding disorders and their families in a meaningful way. Her family has been part of the factor VII community and very active in the hemophilia community for more than 21 years. She is married and has two adult sons.
Our Hemophilia Medical Team
Frank Strobl, MD, PhD
Executive Director Medical Affairs Biopharm
Hossam Saad, MD, MSc
Director, Medical Affairs, Hemostasis
Ellen Leum, RN, MSN, FNP
Senior Medical Liaison, Hemostasis