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2020 Annual Report

American Society of Hematology


What a year. 2020 brought unprecedented challenges upon the world and in particular the health care community, including our esteemed ASH members, volunteers, and employees.

I’ve been offered condolences for the strange fortune of being ASH President in such a tumultuous time. Not only the public health crisis of COVID-19, but the ongoing civil unrest and call for racial justice during the most chaotic election year in modern history together made 2020 a challenging, emotional, and often exhausting year to navigate.

But I will confess: I am in fact grateful for the opportunity to be ASH President this past year. While I knew serving as ASH President would provide personal and professional growth, I could never have anticipated just how much I would learn and grow. I had the privilege of having a front row seat to ASH’s impressive response to the many challenges of 2020– from the Society’s rapid development of resources for hematologists battling COVID-19, to its impassioned commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the health care community.

I must also commend ASH’s rapid action and embrace of remote technologies that would not only enable the Society to remain productive, but also support an incredibly successful all virtual ASH annual meeting. Getting to experience this innovative meeting platform and virtually connect with hematologists and medical leaders from around the world was an extraordinary delight for me as ASH President. Many have said the 2020 ASH Annual Meeting will serve as a standard for virtual meetings in medical education, and I wholeheartedly agree.

The ASH COVID-19 response and annual meeting may have been front-and-center, but behind the scenes, ASH continued its important work of supporting hematologists – particularly those trainees and young investigators most vulnerable in this time – maintaining global programs and advocacy efforts, developing clinical practice guidelines including guidelines related to COVID-19, developing innovative webinars and virtual training programs, sustaining funding levels for all ASH awards, and so many other important initiatives, as detailed in this annual report.

ASH also continued to advance efforts to improve the way sickle cell disease (SCD) is treated through supporting advances in research, improving provider training and education, advocating for policies to expand access to care and improve data collection, conducting global health outreach, and more. Conquering SCD remains a clear priority for ASH and the ASH Research Collaborative, and the release of the 2020 National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine NASEM strategic plan and blueprint for addressing SCD in the United States was an important milestone toward improvement.  

Stephanie Lee - 3

As we embark on 2021, we are optimistic that this year will bring about deepened understanding and continued progress in combating the various threats to our Society, be it the novel coronavirus or racial bias in the health care community. We look forward to not just getting back closer to normal but beginning to create a new normal that is more inclusive and safe for everyone. 

Thank you for allowing me to serve as the ASH 2020 President. It has been an absolute privilege. I look forward to seeing what new successes are in store for 2021 under the able leadership of my successor, Dr. Marty Tallman.  

 – Stephanie J. Lee, M.D., 2020 President of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)


The year 2020 brought racial inequality in the United States to the forefront, as COVID-19 exposed large racial disparities in health care, with people of color dying at four times the rate of white people infected with the virus. While ASH can be proud of our longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, we, like many, recognize that we can do more. In this year of reflection and action, ASH has added programs to our initiative designed to inspire, support, and recruit diverse communities to the field. We have made efforts to ensure that leadership within the Society reflects the rich diversity of our field, and our scientific priorities include attention to health disparities and diseases that disproportionately affect communities of color.

$ 1 M+

Committed to MRI Recipients in 2020



MRI Award Recipients Supported in 2020


MRI Awards Provided Since Inception

$ 13 M+

Provided to MRI Recipients Since Inception

ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative

The ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative (MRI) was created in 2003 to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities training in hematology-related fields and to increase the number of minority hematologists with academic and research appointments. The ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative and programs was designed to to support hematologists in all stages of their careers. Despite the global pandemic, ASH supported 42 MRI award recipients in 2020, committing a total of $1.8 million to awardees.

Like much of the world, ASH had to pivot on a great number of things throughout 2020 – not the least of which was reimagining ASH meetings for an entirely virtual environment. ASH is proud to have maintained its rigorous standards for premier science and clinical education, combined with unparalleled collaborative experiences that the hematology community has come to expect from ASH meetings. 

33 K+

Total Meeting Attendees in 2020


Total Meeting Sessions in 2020


Total Meeting Speakers in 2020

ASH supports hematologists around the world through its various awards including research grants, training programs, and other opportunities designed to enhance knowledge, research, and expertise. In 2020, ASH affirmed the value of a strong workforce in hematology by enhancing its career development pathway, launching the new ASH Research Restart Award in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and planning for the launch of a new effort to support the funding of new fellowship tracks in hematology. 


Award Recipients Supported in 2020 


$ 12 M

Provided to Award Recipients in 2020


Countries Represented Among Award Recipients in 2020

The challenges of 2020 didn’t stop ASH from playing its usual vital role in influencing policies and advocating for hematologists. While visits to Capitol Hill looked a bit different, ASH staff and volunteers still managed to engage in advocacy activities important to researchers and practicing physicians.  

50 +

Virtual Meetings on Capitol Hill 

900 +

Grassroots Network Emails to Capitol Hill 


The ASH Foundation was created in 2012 to facilitate private philanthropic relationships with individual donors, other foundations, and government agencies that confer charitable grants. Thanks to generous donors, in 2020 the ASH Foundation provided additional resources to enhance and expand ASH programs dedicated to advancing hematology research, promoting career development and training, and making a global impact.  

$ 276,684

Disbursements in Fiscal Year 2020 


ASH Foundation Donors in FY20


Countries Represented by Donors in FY20

ASH Foundation Gifts in Action

Through charitable support from the ASH Foundation, ASH is able to enhance and expand important hematology programs and pursue new, visionary initiatives. See ASH Foundation gifts in action.