Scleroderma Foundation CEO Appointed Co-Chair of Independent Coalition
Working with the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DANVERS, MA. (November 9, 2015) The Scleroderma Foundation, Inc., today announced that its CEO, Robert J. Riggs, was appointed Co-Chair of the NIAMS Coalition at its biennial meeting on October 27 in Bethesda, MD. Co-chairs serve a two-year term.
The NIAMS Coalition is a national independent consortium comprised of more than 90 professional and patient advocacy organizations that raise awareness about NIAMS, which is a part of the National Institutes of Health. The mission of the NIAMS is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases.
The Scleroderma Foundation has been a member of the NIAMS Coalition since 2007, and Riggs has been its representative since that time. He has also been on the NIAMS Coalition Steering Committee, a 12-member leadership council, since 2013.
“This is a dynamic group of individuals representing a broad spectrum of professional and patient organizations,” said Riggs. “All of us share a deep passion to advance research in the areas of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases which, combined, affect tens of millions of Americans.”
Riggs went on to comment that NIAMS is the leading supporter of medical research into these diseases, funding research at academic institutions across the country and on the NIH campus in Bethesda. “NIAMS-funded research spans the entire United States, as does the NIAMS Coalition membership. I am honored to be a part of this coalition that seeks to advance research so that people living with such diseases can live longer and more productive lives.”
About the NIAMS Coalition
NIAMS Coalition members participate in NIAMS-sponsored scientific meetings and retreats, roundtable discussions, and listening sessions, where research needs across the spectrum of diseases within the NIAMS portfolio are addressed. Regular interactions with the NIAMS Coalition, including meetings and teleconferences with senior NIAMS staff, and multicultural outreach efforts, are designed to foster and facilitate information-sharing. Major Coalition-related events include the biennial NIAMS Coalition Outreach and Education Meeting, and Congressional briefings and special events, including patient visits to the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.
The Coalition is led by two volunteer co-chairs, who serve staggered two-year terms, and governed by a steering committee, which is composed of 12 NIAMS Coalition members. The co-chairs and steering committee determine Coalition membership eligibility. Riggs shares his co-chair duties with Rheumatology Research Foundation CEO, Mary Wheatley.
About The Scleroderma Foundation
The Massachusetts-based Scleroderma Foundation is the world’s largest nonprofit organization focused on the autoimmune disease scleroderma (a.k.a. systemic sclerosis). It has a three-fold mission to provide patient education services, generate greater awareness of the disease, and to fund medical research to find the cause, better treatments, and a cure. The Foundation’s national network of 22 chapters and more than 160 active support groups connect patients, families and the medical community, and serves to advance the Foundation’s mission to the 300,000 people living in the United States with the disease.
For more information about scleroderma and the Scleroderma Foundation, visit: www.scleroderma.org