UVM Health Network

University of Vermont Medical Center Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program Celebrates 20 Years on World Thrombosis Day

Nationally-recognized program serves 1200 new patients per year


Burlington, Vt. – The University of Vermont Medical Center’s Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program will celebrate 20 years of lifesaving care this World Thrombosis Awareness Day on October 13.

The program, housed within the Hematology Oncology Division, is one of the nation's largest. It has consistently offered specialized care while growing from humble origins to a team comprising seven physicians, two advanced practice providers, and two dedicated nurses. Now, each year, the program extends its expertise to over 1,200 new patients.

UVMMC Thrombosis team

As the program marks this significant milestone, it will also engage in awareness-building for venous thromboembolism (VTE) – a condition that encompasses deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. VTE is the third leading cardiovascular disease, with nearly 1 million events that cause 60-100,000 deaths annually in the United States.

“The actual figures could be even higher. The CDC's current data may not capture the full impact," said Program Medical Director Mary Cushman, MD, MSc. “Alarmingly, despite the statistics, less than half of Americans are familiar with VTE or its symptoms.”

The program has scheduled a series of activities on October 13 to both celebrate and inform. An informational booth will be set up in the University of Vermont Medical Center lobby where attendees can collect educational flyers and get insights about the program and its pioneering research. Additionally, an event will be held at the Hematology Oncology Clinic to celebrate the program's achievements, especially its success in reducing VTE rates among cancer patients.

"The growth of our Thrombosis and Hemostasis Program into a nationally recognized leader in treatment and research is a testament to our academic mission and the amazingly talented clinicians it attracts,” said University of Vermont Medical Center President and COO Stephen Leffler, MD. “The UVM Health Network? community is grateful to this team for their expertise and care for patients from all over Vermont and New York.”

The program excels in research, with many fundamental discoveries over the years, including that obesity is a risk factor for VTE and that there are racial disparities in occurrence of VTE in the United States that especially impact Black Americans.

Thrombosis is a blood clot within blood vessels that limits the flow of blood. Symptoms include pain and swelling in one leg, chest pain, or shortness of breath. The condition can lead to life-threatening outcomes such as stroke or heart attack. Available treatment includes medicines that thin the blood or prevent clots and the use of stents or catheters to open blocked vessels. More information can be found at: https://www.worldthrombosisday.org/.