Tuesday, July 26, 2011

CPF Board

he Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis (CPF) proudly announces the winners of its three annual awards for distinguished service.  Each honoree has contributed in a significant way to the effort to fight Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) – in research, humanitarian and advocacy efforts.  This year's recipients are renowned PF researcher Kevin Flaherty, MD, CPF Board of Directors Member, advocate and fundraiser Deirdre Roney, Esq., and James "J.P." Paluskiewicz, a Capitol Hill advocacy expert.
Dr. Flaherty is being awarded the Marvin I. Schwarz Research Award which recognizes a researcher's commitment to improve the quality of life of those living with PF through compassionate patient care, education and support, while leading research efforts to find a cure.  "Dr. Flaherty is working diligently to find treatments and a cure for PF," said Miska Michon, CEO of the CPF.  "His efforts have made a significant difference in the battle to fight the disease."  Dr. Flaherty is Associate Professor, Pulmonary Diseases at University of Michigan Health System.  As part of the award, the CPF will make a $15,000 grant to Dr. Flaherty's PF research lab. "Our efforts in research are driven by the day to day struggles of our patients as they fight to survive Idiopathic PF.  I appreciate the efforts of the CPF and all involved to raise awareness and advocate for the resources needed to treat and eventually cure IPF.  The generous funds associated with this award are appreciated and will certainly help us move forward to identify and test novel treatments and find an eventual cure," said Dr. Flaherty.
Deirdre Roney, Esquire, will receive the Francis Cabral Humanitarian Award for her efforts to raise awareness and funding for PF.  The award recognizes a patient or caregiver who significantly improves awareness of PF in their community and nationwide, who selflessly furthers the mission of the CPF, and who shines as a beacon of hope and inspiration to all those suffering from the disease.  Roney, who serves on the CPF Board of Directors, has generously taken on myriad tasks on behalf of the CPF, has held annual fundraising efforts, and has raised more than a half million dollars to date for PF.  "Deirdre is a tireless champion in the struggle to fight PF," said Mishka Michon, CEO of the CPF.  "Her personal perspective on the disease added to her passion and determination are unstoppable."  For the past nine years, Roney, who has lost eight family members to PF, has given generously of her time, her energy to the work of the organization."  "This award means so much to me and I am grateful for the progress we've made," said Roney. "No one person in the history of the organization has done more to alter the course of the disease or to make certain that the funds needed to provide services to patients and families were available at all times," said Michon.
James "J.P." Paluskiewicz will receive the Charles G. Norwood Memorial Advocate of the Year Award.  The award recognizes an individual's outstanding commitment to improving awareness of PF in their community and furthering the mission of the CPF.  Paluskiewicz is the current Deputy Chief of Staff to Congressman Michael C. Burgess, MD, and former Legislative Director to the late Congressman Norwood, DDS, who died as a result of illness resulting from a single lung transplant for PF.  "Losing Congressman Norwood to this horrible lung disease really opened my eyes to the human suffering it causes," said Paluskiewicz.  "I am dedicated to working with doctors, patients, and the CPF to change public policy for the benefit of all PF patients."  He has been instrumental in the CPF's advocacy efforts since Rep. Norwood joined the cause in 2005.  Since the Congressman's death in 2007, Paluskiewicz has maintained a strong advocacy relationship with the CPF and has helped behind the scenes with legislative guidance and has helped train CPF advocacy teams during National PF Awareness Week for years.  "J.P. is dedicated to the cause, has promised to assist PF efforts in the future and does so in memory of his past boss and friend as well as in honor of patients who suffer today. His leadership skills, his knowledge and experience on Capitol Hill and his passion for PF patients make him a deserving recipient of the CPF's Advocacy Award," said Michon.
About Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF)
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a lung disorder characterized by a progressive scarring – known as fibrosis – and deterioration of the lungs, which slowly robs its victims of their ability to breathe. Approximately 128,000 Americans suffer from PF, and there is currently no known cause or cure. An estimated 48,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. PF is difficult to diagnose and an estimated two-thirds of patients die within five years of diagnosis.  Sometimes PF can be linked to a particular cause, such as certain environmental exposures, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, residual infection, or autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. However, in many instances, no known cause can be established. When this is the case, it is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
About the CPF
The CPF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 2001 to accelerate research efforts leading to a cure for pulmonary fibrosis (PF), while educating, supporting, and advocating for the community of patients, families, and medical professionals fighting this disease. The CPF funds promising research into new approaches to treat and cure PF; provides patients and families with comprehensive education materials, resources, and hope; serves as a voice for national advocacy of PF issues; and works to improve awareness of PF in the medical community as well as the general public. The CPF's nonprofit partners include many of the most respected medical centers and healthcare organizations in the U.S. With more than 24,000 members nationwide, the CPF is the largest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to advocating for those with PF.

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