Dr. Abajas received a two-year award (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2018) to support clinical and research training in bleeding and clotting disorders.
The NHF-Baxalta Clinical Fellowship Program, funded through the generous support of Baxalta U.S., Inc., is intended to increase the number of skilled clinicians committed to providing comprehensive care for individuals with bleeding disorders. The program is designed to provide licensed physicians with hands-on clinical training and prepare them for academic careers in bleeding disorders research. Mentored training takes place at highly-qualified hemophilia and/or thrombophilia treatment centers located throughout the United States. Through this program, award funding is provided to cover costs directly related to the training of physicians who show an interest in devoting their careers to the care of patients with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders.
The NHF-Baxalta Clinical Fellowship program has provided support to 31 physicians to date. Selections are made by an independent peer review panel and award recipients are able to receive up to $100,000/year (for up to two years). Baxalta has continued to support this program since its inception in 2003, providing NHF with the ability to select two new clinical fellows each year.
In the field of rare disorders, hemophilia has been touted as a model for medical care delivery since the majority of patients benefit from receiving treatment at comprehensive care centers. However, this highly specialized care system has become increasingly fragile as a generation of HTC physicians either retire or choose to leave the field. Such departures are accelerating as an ironic byproduct of the HTC success story: More and more patients receive prophylaxis and preventative care; more individuals are able to infuse themselves at home, resulting in a reduction of patient-doctor contact hours. This situation, coupled with a relatively stable to low number of hemophilia patients, has imperiled the profession as a viable full-time practice. Other more systemic problems have included the lack of comprehensive training programs for bleeding disorder specialists and reduced institutional support for hemophilia clinical care and research. One proposed solution for meeting these patients’ needs is to support the training of physicians who are skilled in the treatment of both conditions at specially-designated care centers. NHF and Baxalta firmly believe that this solution offers the means to sustain the number of quality treatment centers, increase the number of providers attracted to this field and also spur institutional support.