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Press Room : Press Releases

For Immediate Release — September 18, 2007


New Coalition Combats One of the Nation's Leading Killers

A newly formed Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) has been created to promote the urgent need to make venous thromboembolism or “VTE” a major U.S. public health priority. The VDC is comprised of a network of leading healthcare professionals and key non-profit organizations committed to the mission of increasing public and health professional awareness of under-recognized venous diseases, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (known collectively as VTE).

VTE is the 3rd most common vascular disease after heart disease and stroke. It is a potentially life-threatening, yet treatable and largely preventable disorder that includes two related conditions:

1. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - Abnormal clotting of the blood in one or more veins, most commonly the veins of the leg.
2. Pulmonary embolism (PE) - Occurs when a DVT breaks free from its original site in a vein and then travels through the heart and then into the lungs.

“The need for the VDC is more important than ever,” said Dr. Samuel Z. Goldhaber, Chairman of the VDC. “Each year, deaths from PE are five times more common than deaths from breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents, and AIDS combined. With timely treatment, these deaths can be prevented and the quality of life for many Americans improved.”

In an effort to raise awareness, the Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) will hold a media briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 starting at 12:00 p.m. Some of the nation’s top venous physicians and medical professional organizations will be joined by Susan Shurin, MD, Deputy Director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Congressman, Ed Perlmutter (D), Colorado’s 7th Congressional District and Massachusetts Representative, Michael F. Rush (D) who will all be speaking in support of the need for continued local and national VTE awareness. After the media briefing, the VDC will hold its inaugural meeting to chart an action plan for raising public and healthcare professional awareness of venous disease. For more facts about VTE, visit the Coalition’s Web site at

Patient spokesperson, Michael Hefron will also be sharing his personal experience as a PE survivor. Mr. Hefron suffered a DVT and survived a PE as a result of a broken foot and a hereditary blood disorder.

The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) has taken the lead in creating this unique coalition in partnership with 19 other major national public health organizations and professional vascular societies. In addition to VDF, participating organizations include the American Academy of Physician Assistants, American College of Cardiology, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Phlebology, American Society of Hematology, American Thrombosis Hemostasis Network, American Venous Forum, Anticoagulation Forum, Hemophilia & Thrombosis Research Society, National Alliance of Thrombosis and Thrombophilia, North American Thrombosis Forum, Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery, Society of Critical Care Medicine, Society of Interventional Radiology, Society for Vascular Medicine, Society for Vascular Nursing, Society for Vascular Surgery and the Society of Vascular Ultrasound.

About the Venous Disease Coalition
The Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) is an alliance of leading health professional societies and patient advocacy groups that have united around a common goal: to improve the survival rates and quality of life for individuals with, or at risk for, venous disease. The VDC plans to develop a national campaign to educate the U.S. public and health care professionals about venous disease. For more information, visit

About the Vascular Disease Foundation
The Colorado-based Vascular Disease Foundation is the only national organization with the sole purpose of educating the public about vascular disease. It is the most trusted source of credible, scientific and non-biased information on vascular disease. For more information, call 888.VDF.4INFO or visit