About PDSA

PDSA Leadership

Caroline Kruse, Executive DirectorCaroline Kruse | President and CEO

Caroline Kruse is President and CEO of the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA), the global leader in empowering patients with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) and other platelet disorders through education, advocacy, research and support.

Caroline’s focus on mission has resulted in growing PDSA’s local ITP support groups to 47 across the U.S. and Canada, creating more programs for children, teens and families affected by ITP, education and awareness initiatives to improve the quality of life for those living with ITP including the National walk/run “Pump it up for Platelets,” designation of National ITP Awareness Month, co-founder of the ITP International Alliance and website globalitp.org, and greater emphasis on research resulting in the establishment of the ITP Natural History Study Registry, through a cooperative agreement with NORD and the FDA, and funding patient-centered research that will make a difference in the lives of patients with ITP and other platelet disorders.

Prior to her appointment in January 2009 by the PDSA Board of Directors, Caroline was PDSA’s first Director of Public Relations. Before joining the PDSA staff, she served for two years as a PDSA board member, the second year as Vice Chair. Caroline co-founded the first local ITP support group in the country, in Cleveland, Ohio in 2003, and still serves as its facilitator. She brings a personal perspective to PDSA as a patient with two rare diseases, including ITP, so she knows firsthand the physical and emotional struggles ITP patients face on a daily basis.

Caroline has a B.A. degree in Communications from Cleveland State University. Before joining PDSA, Caroline worked as a broadcasting professional for over 20 years, working on-air and behind-the-scenes at WCPN, Cleveland’s National Public Radio affiliate, and at FOX and CBS TV affiliate stations. She is the creator, producer and co-host of the nationally syndicated talk radio program, “Family Matters.” Caroline is the recipient of numerous broadcasting and journalism honors, including Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, Cleveland A.I.R. Awards from the March of Dimes, Distinction in Media Excellence Awards, and Cleveland Communicators’ Award from Women in Communications. Her award-winning programs focused primarily on health and family issues.

PDSA Staff

Jeff Cooper, Website and Social Media Manager

Jennifer DiRaimo, Research Program Manager

Brenda Foster, Administrative Manager

Teri Howe, Director of Development and Communications

Emily Innes, Programs and Marketing Associate

Loni Kirsch, Administrative Assistant

Alexandra Kruse, Research Coordinator

Jody Shy, Director of Programs and Events

Joan Young, PDSA Founder

Sue Mason, Chief Financial Officer

Board of Directors

Peter Pruitt, Chair
Coral Gables, FL

Dale Paynter, Vice-Chair
Ontario, Canada

Kim Everett, Treasurer
Manitowoc, WI

Beth Siegelbaum, Secretary
Norwalk, CT

Karen Avrick
Woodbury, NY

Robert Feiner
Austin, TX

Melissa Hilsabeck
Huntington Beach, CA

Linda McGuirl
Point Pleasant, NJ

Derek Zimmerman
Royal Palm Beach, FL

Medical Advisory Board

Donald Arnold, MD | McMaster University
Hamilton, ON (Canada)

James Bussel, MD
| Cornell University
New York, NY

Douglas Cines, MD | University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Nichola Cooper, MD | Hammersmith Hospital
London, UK

Terry Gernsheimer, MD | University of Washington
Seattle, WA

Andra James, MD | Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC

Craig Kessler, MD | Georgetown University
Washington, DC

David Kuter, MD | Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA

Michele Lambert, MD | Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA

Howard Liebman, MD | University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

Diane Nugent, MD | University of California, Irvine School of Medicine
Orange, CA

Drew Provan, MD
| Barts & The London Queen Mary’s
London, UK

John Semple, PhD | Lund University
Lund, Sweden

Michael Tarantino, MD
| The Bleeding and Clotting Disorders Institute
Peoria, IL


Robert McMillan, MD | Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla, CA

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