Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Commemorates 50 Years of Leadership, Innovation & Support of the IBD Community

September 12, 2017

New York, NY – Since 1967, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has been at the forefront of research, education, support, and advocacy for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, collectively known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Committed to innovation and collaboration, the Foundation sits at the hub of the IBD community, uniting key stakeholders in its mission to find cures for these diseases and care for patients throughout their disease journey. 

“September 12 marks the Foundation’s 50th anniversary. We are incredibly proud of the many advancements we have achieved on behalf of the IBD community in that time. But the reality is we do not want to be here in another 50 years” said Michael Osso, President & CEO of the Foundation. “We have led the way with innovative education, support, and advocacy programs and have advanced critical research. These efforts have helped improve quality of life for our patients, but also reinforce the urgency to finish what was started 50 years ago - finding cures.”    

Since its inception, the Foundation has invested more than $300 million in the research of inflammatory bowel diseases, and played a role in every major breakthrough and therapeutic advancement in IBD research. In the last decade critical research has identified genetic links to IBD; revealed the role of the gut microbiome in disease onset and diagnosis, and identified predictors of disease course and severity in pediatric Crohn’s patients. 

“Recent discoveries prove we are on the brink of major breakthroughs in the science of IBD,” Osso continued. “As such, the Foundation is putting great emphasis on ways to accelerate the process and bring us to cures faster.”

This year, the Foundation has launched two new research initiatives – one addressing the role of environmental triggers on disease onset and progression, and a second exploring unmet needs in IBD patient care through novel technologies that could be implemented to address those needs. 

“These new initiatives would not be possible without our founders’ first steps to fund IBD research fifty years ago,” notes Vance Gibbs, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s National Board Chair. “Since then, the Foundation has been convening the IBD community – researchers, clinicians, patients, and caregivers – to advance our knowledge and understanding of causes. The more we advance the exploration of the factors that contribute to IBD, such as genetics, microbiome, and environmental triggers, the closer we are to achieving our mission.” 

In addition to leading research, the Foundation provides a comprehensive series of education programs and support services to members of the IBD community, providing an empowering environment where IBD patients and their caregivers can find guidance, a sense of community, and valuable resources. Through in-person and online support groups, local education events, and the IBD Help Center, the Foundation has reached hundreds of thousands of patients and caregivers.

The Foundation is an active advocate for policies addressing the needs of the IBD community, serving as a consistent and effective voice on issues of access to care, cost of care, and research funding on the national and local levels. 

Learn more about the Foundation’s anniversary on our website:


About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

What began as the National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis, co-founded by Irwin and Suzanne Rosenthal, Bill and Shelby Modell, and Dr. Henry Janowitz, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has grown into a 38-chapter, 15,000-member organization that provides support and educational resources to the 1.6 million Americans living with IBD.

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the largest non-profit, voluntary, health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research; providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information visit, call 888-694-8872, or email  

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy (

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