You Can Be
a Leader in
the Hemophilia

Take your leadership skills to the next
level, all while making new friends
and connecting with people like you.
Let's get started!

The Step Up Reach Out and AFFIRM programs are funded by Bayer.

Step Up Reach Out

Men, ages 21-25, diagnosed with hemophilia A or B, or a related bleeding disorder
A one-year international leadership development program


Men or Women, ages 26-38, with either a diagnosis of a bleeding disorder or working in hemophilia advocacy
A two-year international fellowship program to grow leadership and advocacy skills

Speaking Frankly

Speaking Frankly is a candid online resource that features content on topics of interest to teenagers and young adults with hemophilia worldwide. The site casts light on often taboo subjects such as sexuality, drugs and depression, and offers lively coverage of lifestyle topics including travel, entertainment, health and fitness. The website is led by a team of writers and editors who are members and alumni of the SURO and AFFIRM programs.

What is Step up Reach Out?

SURO is an international youth leadership program designed to develop and train young adults in the bleeding disorders community who have the drive and ability to become leaders.

SURO was started in 2007 by the University of Texas Health Science Center, Gulf States Hemophilia and Thrombophilia Center (UTHS). Today, it is administered by Global Blood Disorders, Inc.

Program Agenda

SURO participants attend two mandatory program meetings held in September and the following March, with an interim project conducted in between the two sessions.


Building the Foundation
of Leadership

Part I of the program will focus on teaching participants the basic skills they will need to become leaders in the bleeding disorders community. Specific activities will focus on:

  • Team-building skills
  • Communication skills
  • Self-esteem activities
  • The evolution of hemophilia care and treatment
  • Tools for success
  • Social media and video training
  • Research and product development

Interim Project:

During the time between the two SURO sessions, participants will be asked to identify issues in their communities that need support and define action plans to address them.


Defining Your Leadership Role

In Part II of the program, participants will have the opportunity to further build their leadership and communications skills and learn from one another by presenting their action plans. Specific activities will focus on:

  • Development of key leadership skills
  • Public speaking and presentation techniques
  • Presentations on individual projects
  • Community advocacy
  • Stakeholders
  • Introduction to

What's AFFIRM?

The International AFFIRM Program is an international advocacy and leadership development program. It is designed to mentor men and women with a bleeding disorder, or working in hemophilia advocacy, as they further develop and expand their leadership and advocacy skills with the aim to bring better care, programs and treatment to their respective communities.

The International AFFIRM Program was developed and implemented in 2008 by James Munn, RN-BC, currently with the University of Michigan's Hemophilia and Coagulation Disorders Program, and Edward Kuebler, LCSW, currently with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Gulf States Hemophilia & Thrombophilia Center. This program is funded through an unrestricted grant with Bayer and managed through the Global Blood Disorder Foundation Inc. in the United States.

Program Agenda

AFFIRM attendees will participate in four program meetings over a two year time frame. Program meetings will be held both in the United States and other countries outside the US.

Each program meeting agenda will have a specific focus designed to enhance the attendees' leadership and advocacy skills, raise their level of education and provide practice workshop sessions that offer hands on experiences.


More than 140 participants

Outstanding things that
SURO and AFFIRM members have done:

  • Started a new hemophilia local chapter organization
  • Served in a leadership position at a national hemophilia organization
  • Launched a hemophilia camp
  • Developed videos for people with hemophilia
  • Represented the local hemophilia society before the department of health
  • Educated healthcare providers about hemophilia
  • Attended regional and global conferences on hemophilia
  • Become thought leaders on social media in the hemophilia community



2010-2011 class of
Step Up Reach Out


2010-2011 class of
Step Up Reach Out


2007-2008 class of
Step Up Reach Out


2010-2011 class of
Step Up Reach Out


2009-2010, Step Up Reach out
2013-2014, AFFIRM


2010-2011 class of
Step Up Reach Out