Issue 5 Newsletter | DVT Connections
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DVT Connections

Melanie’s Corner

Dear Friends,

As our efforts to support DVT awareness celebrated its fifth anniversary this year, I am excited to announce that DVT Awareness Month 2008 was another huge success! This year alone, the Coalition’s message has already reached more than 300 million people! It is important and gratifying to know that so many people are actually hearing our message about DVT awareness!

Throughout the year, the Coalition and I traveled to Washington, D.C., Seattle, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, Raleigh, and Chicago, where I connected with many Americans who shared their personal stories about DVT. Hospital involvement in this year’s campaign has been phenomenal: in March alone, more than 2,100 hospitals participated in local DVT Awareness by Design activities!

On March 25, the Coalition launched its first-ever National DVT Screening Day in partnership with Premier. Coalition Steering Committee Member Dr. Frank Michota encouraged healthcare professionals across the country to focus on the prevention of DVT and to actively screen at-risk patients so they may benefit from early diagnosis and treatment.

Another creative and interesting effort was the Coalition’s partnership with Parsons The New School for Design to shine a fashion spotlight on DVT. Thanks to the work with Parsons, I had the opportunity to walk down the runway in stylish student-designed DVT leg wear. Read more about these efforts below and be on the look out next March, when the Coalition unveils its new DVT awareness icon, based on the inspirations from the fashion show!

The Coalition continues to surpass major milestones and shows no signs of slowing. Additionally this past year, the Coalition applauded the new VTE measures proposed by CMS, the Coalition worked with Premier again during the Capitol Hill briefing and the National Patient Safety goals were mandated by the Joint Commission. The National Patient Safety Goals were developed to further educate patients and to increase dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals about reducing DVT risk, proper care and patient risk assessment.

In its fifth year, the Coalition’s momentum shows no signs of slowing; evidenced by the recent Call-to-Action from the Office of the Surgeon General, which helps shine a national spotlight on DVT and PE. I want to thank everyone who has helped to make the Coalition to Prevent DVT so successful. Through your dedication, many more people are now aware of this serious condition. I look forward to our upcoming Coalition events as we continue to work together to shine a spotlight on DVT as a national public health priority.

Warm Regards,

Melanie Bloom's Signature


2008 has been a banner year for DVT awareness on both the national and local level! So far, six cities (Chicago, Des Moines, Jackson Hole, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, D.C.) and five states (Alaska, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey and Washington) have issued resolutions and proclamations formally declaring March DVT Awareness Month. These localities join the ranks of many others across the country that have formally recognized DVT Awareness Month since the Coalition to Prevent DVT was formed in 2003.


The Coalition had an extremely successful event in March at the University of Washington. The awareness program opened by introducing King County, Councilman Reagan Dunn who shared that his mother died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism. He also presented Melanie Bloom with a King County proclamation supporting DVT Awareness Month. In addition, Governor Chris Gregoire introduced a proclamation and the State of Washington passed a resolution in support of DVT Awareness Month.

New Orleans

Dr. Kevin Stephens, Director of the Health Department for the City of New Orleans, announced that the New Orleans Mayor’s Office officially proclaimed March as DVT Awareness Month. New Coalition member Ochsner Health Systems hosted the event, which also featured Dr. Steve Deitelzweig and Melanie Bloom.


Chicago Commissioner for Public Health, Terry Mason, signed a proclamation declaring DVT Awareness Month in the Windy City at Resurrection Medical Center.

New Jersey

Melanie Bloom and Dr. Geno Merli joined State Senators Joseph Kyrillos (R-NJ) and Joseph Vitale (D-NJ) at the New Jersey State House in Trenton in June to pronounce March DVT Awareness Month. Following speeches from the legislators, Bloom, Dr. Merli, the Senators and guests signed the DVT Prevention Pledge - a Call-to-Action for physicians to implement evidence-based prevention measures.

Washington, D.C.

In July, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., the Coalition held a briefing for Congressional staff members to lay the foundation for House recognition of March as DVT Awareness month. The event’s focal points were presentations by Dr. James Groce, III, a member of the Medical Advisory Board of the Coalition to Prevent DVT; Bonnie Bernstein, ESPN/ABC sportscaster and DVT/PE survivor; and Jill Greene, chief nursing officer and patient safety officer at Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care, a long -term acute care hospital.
The event in Washington, D.C. brings the Coalition one step closer to having all Mid-Atlantic States issue DVT awareness proclamations!

Melanie Bloom at the White House


Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement Surgeries as Hospital Acquired Condition.

In April, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its annual proposed changes highlighted by the addition of several quality measures related to venous thromboembolism (VTE), pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) treatment and prevention.

The Coalition to Prevent DVT is in support of the CMS initiatives which work to promote prophylaxis in patients who are at an increased risk of DVT and implement additional inpatient services related to the prevention of DVT and PE. CMS aims to retain Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) VTE measures 1 and 2 in the Reporting of Hospital Quality Data for Annual Hospital Payment Update that would ensure that DVT and PE are prevented in patients having total hip and total knee replacement surgeries through appropriate prophylaxis in Fiscal Year 2009.

Quote from Melanie Bloom


The Coalition to Prevent DVT’s recent collaboration with Parsons The New School for Design brought together fashion and DVT awareness in a New York City fashion show aimed at highlighting DVT as a national public health priority.

The fashion show generated widespread media coverage for the Coalition, creating headlines in more than 40 outlets nationwide and extending DVT Awareness Month efforts into May. Participants in the fashion show, including the Coalition to Prevent DVT’s National Patient Spokesperson Melanie Bloom; ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein; NBC’s Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Chris Hansen; NBC Executive Vice President Elena Nachmanoff; Actor Matt McCoy; and Larry King Live Producer Todd Polkes, served as leg wear models, representing the Coalition’s extensive and distinguished network of supporters. Melanie’s dear friend Bob Woodruff also made a guest appearance to show his support.

The goal of this unique partnership was to find the inspiration for a new DVT awareness icon. Socks created through the DVT Awareness by Design campaign served as inspiration for the Parsons students’ own leg wear creations. The new icon, which the Coalition will launch in 2009, will aim to vault DVT awareness into the ranks of other well-known awareness symbols, like the pink breast cancer ribbon.

Melanie Bloom Catwalk Berstein Catwalk
Catwalk Group


With increasing standards for appropriate prophylaxis, DVT guidelines are simply not enough. The Joint Commission mandated the addition of the National Patient Safety Goals, which were developed to strengthen patient and healthcare professional dialogue about reducing the risk of DVT, through proper care and patient risk assessment.

The Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goals encourage patients to ask questions about proper risk assessment and risk reduction. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that DVT and PE collectively cost the U.S. hospital system more than $340 million annually and the cost of care is estimated to be an additional $20,000 more per DVT-related case.

In recognition of the newly mandated National Patient Safety Goals, the Coalition encourages hospitals and healthcare providers to assess patients for the risk of developing DVT and to follow evidence-based measures that may improve the quality of care through better diagnosis and treatment.

CNN: Deadly Blood Clots


On Monday, September 15, 2008, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. issued the Call-to-Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE), representing a major milestone in raising awareness of this serious and potentially fatal condition.

More than five years ago, 60+ organizations came together at the Public Health Leadership Conference on DVT to discuss the urgent need to make DVT a U.S. public health priority. From that meeting, the Coalition to Prevent DVT was formed, and today the Coalition has evolved into a national voice on DVT, counting more than 50 public health organizations as its members. Since its inception, the Coalition has worked to further awareness of DVT and its potentially fatal complication PE, and to promote measures that address and close the gap between the need for DVT risk assessment and patient understanding. The ongoing efforts of the Coalition have driven the national Call-to-Action on DVT and PE.

In the Call-to-Action, Dr. Galson emphasizes the need for increased awareness and evidence-based practices for DVT and PE, noting that "Every hospital should develop a formal plan that addresses DVT prophylaxis."

Prior to the announcement, Melanie Bloom was honored by the Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) for her contributions to raising awareness about DVT. She was also in attendance for the Call-to-Action announcement and was again recognized as a champion of DVT awareness by the Office of the Surgeon General. “DVT has remained under the radar far too long. It is time that we as a nation engage in a concerted effort to increase awareness of this serious and often deadly illness that affects more and more Americans each year,” said Ms. Bloom.

This long awaited announcement represents a significant milestone for the Coalition, its members, and all of those who have the shared goal of raising awareness about DVT. This Call-to-Action places DVT alongside other medical issues deemed national priorities by the U.S. Surgeon General, including underage drinking, obesity, and smoking. The Coalition commends the Office of the Surgeon General for issuing this Call-to-Action to shine a spotlight on one of the nation’s under-recognized potentially fatal conditions.

The Call-to-Action urges a coordinated, multifaceted plan to:
  • Increase awareness about DVT and PE

  • Implement evidence-based practices for DVT

  • Conduct more research on the causes, prevention, treatment of DVT

Go to www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/deepvein/ to read the call-to-Action on DVT and PE in its entirety!

Melanie Bloom at the Public Health Leadership Conference on DVT
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Key DVT Statistics

Did you know that up to 2 million Americans are affected annually by DVT?