Judith Baker is a national leader in bleeding disorders and sickle cell healthcare networks. As Regional Public Health Director for the Center for Inherited Blood Disorders, Judith co-directed federal CDC and HRSA grants that support the Western States/Region IX Hemophilia Network’s 13 specialty centers serving not just California but also Hawaii, Nevada and the US Pacific Islands. In fact, Judith led the development of the first Hemophilia Treatment Centers in Hawaii, Nevada and Guam.
At the national level, Judith has Co-Chaired the Steering Committee of the National Patient Satisfaction Survey for the US Hemophilia Treatment Center Network, a huge undertaking and very important to understanding patients’ needs and demonstrating the value of the US Hemophilia Treatment Center Network. Her other research also examined quality, cost, outcomes, and equity for the patients she served. She is also a leading voice and expert in initiatives to promote diversity and equity in health care systems. Anyone who has worked with Judith knows about her commitment to data to guide policy decisions.
A champion for patient safety, Judith has served two terms on the FDA’s Blood Product Advisory Committee. The Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC) reviews and evaluates available data concerning the safety, effectiveness, and appropriate use of blood, products derived from blood and serum or biotechnology which are intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention, or treatment of human diseases.
She has also received a National Hemophilia Foundation Meritorious Service Award. In California, her passion, expertise and leadership has been instrumental in the access to comprehensive care for patients across blood disorders – including hemophilia, vonWillebrand’s disease and sickle cell.
At the Hemophilia Council of California (HCC) we are particularly grateful for her partnership and commitment to collaboration, which will live on in the Health Care Access Forum and partnerships with sickle cell and other patient advocacy organizations. We will greatly miss Judith’s guidance and expertise.
A few words from people at in the community who knew Judith well-
- I have known Judith for more than 25 years and consider her to be both a friend and a colleague. The first time we ever worked together was in the late 1990s, when I was the Program Director for the Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California. It was such a pleasure collaborating with her on programs for patients and families, and I learned a great deal from Judith in those early years. In 2003, the opportunity arose for me to become her assistant at Region IX. She taught me even more over the next four years and assisted me in expanding my professional skills. Managing federal grants, organizing regional meetings, monitoring budgets, utilizing Excel spreadsheets, creating new working relationships, and understanding the intricacies of our healthcare system are just a few areas in which Judith shared her expertise. Of course, we can’t forget about data, data, data! Thanks to her guidance and mentorship, I was able to make another career move in 2007 and began working at the UC Davis Hemophilia Treatment Center. I am forever grateful for her help, as well as for the friendship that unfolded.It will be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to find someone who is as dedicated, hardworking, knowledgeable, and experienced as Judith to be the next regional administrator. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that the bleeding disorder community in California, the Western States Region IX and throughout the United States has access to the appropriate medical care and best treatment options. It will also be very difficult to find someone who keeps HCC well informed about the challenges and barriers to care faced by patients and families in our state. In so many ways, Judith has been our eyes and ears on the ground, and she leaves very big shoes to fill. I wish Judith all the best in her retirement and hope she will continue to be involved with our community.
-Stephanie Dansker, Vice President, Hemophilia Council of California
- I was minding my own business at a poster session during yet another NHF meeting, when Judith Baker asked me if I knew anyone that might have some extra Factor IX. Evidently there was a young boy with an active head bleed in some remote corner of the world that had just experienced a typhoon and supplies were not forthcoming. She introduced me to a physician that was traveling there the next morning. I scanned the room and spotted a colleague that always carried extra factor IX. “I got this”, I said. The next morning, I met the doctor in the coffee shop and gave her an exhibit bag with a ton of factor in it. She thanked me and headed to the airport. The kid was saved and this one example is emblematic of Judith’s commitment to help each and every patient she can.
-Randall Curtis, MBA, a long-time advocate in the bleeding disorders community
- Regarding Judith, I can say that I was deathly afraid of her when I worked for industry. Once I joined the HCC Board, I really realized what an asset she was and what a pure advocate she was for people with bleeding disorders. I really felt that we gained a mutual respect for each other, which I value to this day.
-Michael Bradley, President, Hemophilia Council of California