Panel of Experts to Examine Need for Expanded Research and Treatment Options | Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Panel of Experts to Examine Need for Expanded Research and Treatment Options

October 7, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus Co-Chairmen Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., (D-IL) today (10/7) announced that the Caucus will hold its kick-off briefing on Wednesday, October 12 in Room B-369 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Hosted in conjunction with Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), the briefing will feature a panel of experts who will examine the need for expanded research, treatment options, therapies, genetics, and nutrition for patients.

“Currently 1.4 million Americans live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis - a staggering figure that includes 140,000 children under the age of 18,” said Crenshaw. “As the parent of a child with Crohn’s, I know first-hand the often-debilitating effects of this disease, am dedicated to raising awareness about it, and am honored to join Congressman Jackson in this fight. As we share and learn information, such as the kind that will be presented on October 12, we can all move the goal line closer to finding the cause and cure for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.”

Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., stated,  "I am proud to stand with Congressman Crenshaw to kick off the Congressional Crohn's and Colitis Caucus and continue our work advocating for enhanced patient care, treatment and finding a cure for these debilitating diseases that impact both patients and their families. While we have worked in the past to pursue legislation and Appropriations funding for Crohn's and colitis, I am encouraged by the awareness this Caucus will bring to advocate on behalf of children and adults with IBD. I believe the bipartisan support of this Caucus can play a significant role in providing medical researchers and health care providers with the resources they need to learn more about the cause of these diseases and to find a cure."

CCFA President Rick Geswell, stated, “We are delighted to be a part of the first ever Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis  Caucus,” said Rick Geswell, President of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “Thank you to  Representatives Crenshaw and Jackson for your leadership in this arena and for helping us raise awareness about these devastating diseases. We look forward to a long term and fruitful partnership.”

The briefing agenda will cover a welcome from Gary Sinderbrand, Chairman of CCFA’s National Board of Trustees; Co-Chair Remarks by Crenshaw and Jackson; an update of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research from a panel of medical experts; and closing remarks from Richard Geswell, President of CCFA. The panelists are:

  • Steven P. James, M.D., Director, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases;
  • Bruce Sands M.D., MS Chief, The Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology, Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, Professor of Medicine Mount Sinai School of Medicine;
  • Sandra Kim M.D., Assistant Professor Division of Gastroenterology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and,
  • Maria Oliva-Hemker M.D., Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and the Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Chair, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Public Affairs & Advocacy Committee.

WHAT: Congressional Crohn’s and Colitis Caucus Kick-Off Briefing.  Lunch will be made available during the presentation.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 12 beginning at 12:30 p.m., concluding at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Room B-369 Rayburn House Office Building.


Barbara Riley (Crenshaw)

Frank Watkins (Jackson)

Erin Stoeber (CCFA)
646- 943-7458


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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