Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
|Founder||Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D.|
|Focus||"Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis disease research, education and improving patients quality of life"|
|Richard Geswell, President|
The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D. Currently the Foundation has over 50,000 members, served by the national headquarters, as well as over 40 chapters nationwide.
Research, educational workshops and symposia, together with the CCFA scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, enable medical professionals to keep pace with this rapidly growing field. The National Institutes of Health has commended CCFA for "uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research." CCFA ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to mission-critical programs, with nearly 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going toward medical research, professional education, and patient support.
Four decades ago, CCFA created the field of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis research. Today, the Foundation funds studies at medical institutions, nurtures investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finances underdeveloped areas of research to find the causes of and cures for Crohn’s and colitis. CCFA has provided more than $150 million for Crohn's and colitis research to date.
Patient and Professional Education and Support
CCFA offers literature and patient support services nationally as well as through its forty regional chapters. CCFA provides information and education for the 1.4 million Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients and their families through a variety of periodicals (Take Charge, Under the Microscope ), books, awareness campaigns, local chapter events, Webcasts, and through its web site. Due to its extensive public awareness and outreach efforts, the Foundation reaches at least one out of every 18 patients, compared to the Arthritis Foundation, with one out of every 85, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, with one out of every 435.
Advocacy is a major component of CCFA’s mission. Its advocates are not only patients, but family members, friends, caregivers, and doctors who want to make their voices heard and see a future free from Crohn's and colitis. Foundation advocates call for increased Federal funding for Crohn's and colitis research and awareness programs designed to improve the lives of patients. The Foundation encourages its members, volunteers, and friends to become actively involved in advancing its public policy goals.
The week of December 1–7 has been designated by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week in order to encourage all Americans to join in the effort to find cures for these diseases, help raise awareness and support research.
The Foundation is not a government-supported agency and relies on the support of members and donors to continue its work. CCFA raises critical dollars through its local and nationwide special events, spearheaded by its national Team Challenge and Take Steps programs.
Team Challenge is the Foundation's endurance training and fundraising program, which prepares participants to run or walk a half marathon, take part in a cycling event, or experience a sprint triathlon while raising money for a cure.
About Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease, these painful, chronic and unpredictable diseases affect approximately 1.4 million Americans, including some 140,000 children under the age of eighteen. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.