2015 year of progress, milestones for Lupus Foundation of America
The foundation's flagship event, The Walk to End Lupus Now, drew more than 700,000 walkers in dozens of cities all over the country. The event was also a financial success, raising more than $5 million that will go toward lupus education and research.
The foundation's LIFELINE Grant Program made it possible for three researchers whose funding had been cut by the National Institute of Health to continue their lupus studies. The foundation itself was also given a large financial boost by a multi-million dollar grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was earmarked for studies on improvements for diagnostic testing, hoping more people with lupus could be diagnosed and begin treatment earlier. The grant also helped the foundation launch a new national awareness campaign.
The foundation unveiled a new public awareness program, KNOW LUPUS, in May. The multimedia initiative featured real-life lupus patients sharing their stories and got celebrity endorsements from 26 entertainment personalities including Whoopi Goldberg, Ian Harding, Tim Gunn, Susan Lucci and the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
For the first time, a National Public Health Agenda on Lupus was developed. This was accomplished through the Lupus Foundation of America's cooperation with the CDC and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD). Through foundation efforts, lupus was also included in the 2015 Kelly Report on Health Disparities in America, which was compiled by the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust. These partnerships made the Action Plan for Lupus Research report possible.
Another first was the national lupus needs survey, which was distributed to patients, caregivers and physicians affected by lupus. The foundation will use data from this survey to launch and maintain new programs and services.
The year also saw the foundation's National Lupus Advocacy Summit, during which activists went to Washington to urge lawmakers to support legislation to support research on lupus and other diseases. Additionally, the foundation gave financial backing to peer-reviewed research studies about the use of stem cells, environmental triggers and pediatric lupus care.
The publication of the exploratory research program LFA-REAL System, which will assist doctors in treating lupus patients, was a success and has made more studies for 2016 a certainty.
Organizations in this story
LUPUS Foundation of America 270 Farmington Avenue, Suite 218 West Hartford - 06032