Impact Report


Spring 2024 Impact Report

Driving Next-Generation Treatments

Driving Next-Generation Treatments

What’s inside our Impact Report

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A preview of our spring 2024 Impact Report - Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

Our Impact

We put patients first—involving them in everything we do and ensuring their voices are heard.


People reached by our Voices of IBD campaign to make IBD more visible


Visits to our educational webpages in 2023



Members of our advocacy network who are fighting for health insurance reform, public restroom access, and more



Young people who found fun, friends, and support at Camp Oasis, our life-changing summer camp for kids and teens with IBD


$500million +

Money we've invested in research to date


Scientists, clinicians, and industry leaders who attended our Crohn's & Colitis Congress

Our New Chief Scientific Officer

Alan Moss, MD

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation has welcomed Alan Moss, MD, as our new Chief Scientific Officer. He previously served as Director of the Crohn’s & Colitis Program at Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Professor of Medicine at Boston University (BU). Alan's experience as a doctor, researcher, and patient advocate, will drive our mission to accelerate the discovery of new and innovative therapies for IBD.


Learn more about Alan's vision for the future of IBD research and his advice for how patients can partner with their doctors on their care.



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The state of IBD research and partnering with your doctor

We’re seeing people have a lot more treatment options and we’re creating opportunities to personalize their treatment.

Alan Moss, Chief Scientific Officer




Advancing New Therapies

New Research Sheds Light on Stress-Related Flares

Most vulnerable patients have unique gut and metabolic changes.

Like many patients, Katy Weniger says that stress goes hand-in-hand with her ulcerative colitis symptoms. “I consider it my number-one trigger, even more than diet,” she says. “When my stress level is really high, I start to flare almost immediately.”


For many years, both patients and clinicians have speculated about the impact of stress on IBD. Now, thanks to our vision and desire to support research in this area, we’re much closer to understanding why psychological stress has such an impact and what to do about it.


Using funding from our Environmental Triggers initiative, Emeran Mayer, MD, and his colleagues at the University of California determined that about half of ulcerative colitis patients studied relapse when exposed to stress. These individuals have elevated levels of several gut bacteria species as well as changes in blood and stool metabolites. Functional MRI studies are ongoing to identify related brain changes.


Further research will aim to determine whether gut microbiome tests or even simple questionnaires can be used to flag vulnerable patients and whether behavioral interventions, such as mindfulness, can successfully stop flares in their tracks.

We are revolutionizing the understanding of the impact of psychological stress on IBD.

Andrés Hurtado-Lorenzo, PhD, senior vice president of translational research at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
Research helps predict which ulcerative colitis patients will experience a flare in response to stress.

Research helps predict which ulcerative colitis patients will experience a flare in response to stress.

Predict medication

The ability to predict medication response could improve treatment and outcomes.

My goal as a researcher is to answer the questions patients ask me in clinic every day.

Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, MBBS, MPH, Foundation-funded scientist

Translating Research to Personalized Care

Ashwin Ananthakrishnan’s goal: to match each patient to the right treatment without delay.

Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, MBBS, MPH has devoted much of his career to bridging the gap between research and clinical care, and the Foundation is thrilled to have supported him along this journey.


When a patient tries a new medication, it’s a “coin toss” as to whether it will work. Using Foundation funding, Dr. Ananthakrishnan and his colleagues focused on improving those odds, demonstrating that it is possible to use microbiome analysis to predict whether a patient will respond to the drug vedolizumab (Entyvio) before they even take it. “The Foundation was instrumental in supporting this work,” he says.


The Foundation also provided funding for Dr. Ananthakrishnan’s research that linked microbiome changes to severe fatigue in patients whose disease is otherwise well-controlled. This paved the way for an ongoing study designed to assess whether probiotics can combat fatigue.


A physician investigator at Massachusetts General Hospital's Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit and associate professor at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Ananthakrishnan was recently named as one of Clarivate 2023 Highly Cited Researchers (see box, below). The Foundation has funded his research via our Senior Research Awards and Litwin IBD Pioneers program.

Congratulations to All the Clarivate 2023 Highly Cited Researchers!

We are proud to have 20 Foundation grant recipients named to this list of influential scientists from all fields. Honorees have all authored multiple papers that rank in the top 1% by citations in their field of study.

Ashwin Ananthakrishnan, Harvard University

David Artis, Cornell University

Benoit Chassaing, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale

Jean-Frédéric Colombel, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Pieter C. Dorrestein, University of California, San Diego

Jeremiah J. Faith, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jeffrey Gordon, Washington University in St. Louis

Wendy Garrett, Harvard University

Curtis Huttenhower, Harvard University

Nobuhiko Kamada, University of Michigan

James Lewis, University of Pennsylvania

Randy S. Longman, Cornell University

Dermot McGovern, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Long H. Nguyen, Harvard University

Bruce Sands, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

William J. Sandborn, University of California, San Diego

Thaddeus Stappenbeck, Washington University in St. Louis

Harry Sokol, Sorbonne Université

Gary D. Wu, University of Pennsylvania

Ramnik Xavier, Broad Institute

Improving Quality of Life and Driving Toward Remission

Confidence, Independence, and Fun

New published study of 6,000 kids, teens, and caregivers confirms Camp Oasis' impact on campers' social and emotional well-being.

Our research analyzing over 6,000 post-camp surveys completed by campers and caregivers over an 8-year period, revealed that campers benefitted from increased confidence and independence. They also made strides in feeling more comfortable in managing their IBD. Perhaps most importantly, they say that their camp experience makes them feel like they belong. Dr. Steven Steiner, pediatric gastroenterologist at Riley Children's Health Indiana and medical director at Camp Oasis, tells us about the significant of these findings.


“One of the most important takeaways is that pediatric IBD can be a very isolating disease, and Camp Oasis Michigan has proven to be a mechanism for patients—and their families—to overcome this barrier and continue the process of becoming young adults who can practice self-care more effectively.


“Most of my patients do not know a single other young person with IBD until they attend camp,” says Dr. Steiner. “Once there, a new circle of friends with a shared experience opens up to them.


“The data provides objective evidence of what all camp volunteers have observed—the multiple important ways that Camp Oasis influences young people living with IBD.”


Many kids are reluctant to talk about their disease or symptoms with people who are not familiar with the disease, given its sensitive nature. But when everyone at camp has experienced these symptoms, it becomes easy to easy to share, talk and bond.


Meet Riya Bahadur, Camp Oasis counselor

“I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis during sixth grade. I missed a lot of school and felt like no one my age understood anything about me,” says Riya Bahadur, Camp Oasis counselor, former camper, and student at the University of California, Berkeley. “The first time I went to Camp Oasis I was very nervous, but that changed as soon as I arrived. I couldn’t believe that I could have conversations with other kids about my colon, being constipated, going to the bathroom—things that weren’t normal to talk about at home.” 


Riya has returned to Camp Oasis every year and now she is a counselor. “Being a counselor for me is about giving back and giving other people the experience I had. The first thing I hear campers say when they get off the bus is ‘I want to see my friends.’ That’s what I like to hear.”


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Camp Oasis: A Fun and Supportive Place for Kids & Teens with IBD

Camp Oasis is a Life-Changing Experience

98% of campers

98% of campers

shared that camp was a place they felt supported and a sense of belonging

Nearly 100%

Nearly 100%

of campers reported making at least one new friend, and most stayed in touch after camp

Almost 2 out of 3

Almost 2 out of 3

new campers had never met another young person with IBD before camp

Down from 33% to 17%

Down from 33% to 17%

the percentage of campers who reported feeling alone in their disease decreased after attending Camp Oasis

At Camp Oasis, kids can bond over their shared experiences.

At Camp Oasis, kids can bond over their shared experiences.






Riya Bahadur, Camp Oasis counselor, former camper, and student at the University of California, Berkeley.

Riya Bahadur, Camp Oasis counselor, former camper, and student at the University of California, Berkeley.






Campers build their confidence and independence while enjoying a variety of activities

Campers build their confidence and independence while enjoying a variety of activities


Lexi Comet has shared her journey in hopes of bringing greater awareness to IBD

Making IBD Visible

Voices of IBD Campaign helps make IBD visible by sharing personal stories.

IBD can be uncomfortable to talk about and is often called an “invisible disease.” Raising awareness of IBD is the goal of our Voices of IBD campaign, launched in January. To date, the campaign, which highlights the stories of IBD patients, providers, and Foundation staff, has reached 127,000 people.


Through this campaign, “IBD Warriors” like Lexi Comet have been sharing their experiences, and advice to help people understand IBD and give other patients a sense of hope and community.


“I am not ashamed of having Crohn’s disease and I refuse to stay silent,” says Comet. “Just by looking at me, people would have no idea that I battle an ‘invisible’ illness” each day of my life.”

Improving Access to Care

The 2024 Crohn’s & Colitis Congress

New insights and advances bring hope to patients and the entire IBD community.

In January, more than 1,600 scientists, clinicians, and industry leaders joined us in Las Vegas for the 2024 Crohn’s & Colitis Congress, the premiere IBD conference co-sponsored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and the American Gastroenterological Association.


Highlights included a keynote presentation by Cedars-Sinai’s Stephan Targan, MD, on an exciting new treatment target (an inflammatory protein called TL1A); panel discussions on how IBD impacts other parts of the body, sometimes causing problems like arthritis; reports of new surgical strategies; and ample opportunities for brainstorming and networking.


Congress is aimed at those with a professional stake in IBD, but our “patient reporters” Aaron Blocker and Maggie Tretton were on the scene and charged with bringing top highlights to other patients via a variety of social media platforms.


“It’s important for patients to know that so many people are working to help them by creating new drugs, tools, and approaches that could potentially have a huge impact on their lives,” says Blocker, who has Crohn’s disease and leads the Support For Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis community on Facebook.


Tretton, who also has Crohn’s disease and runs the LetsTalkIBD channel on YouTube, was impressed by the scientific advances that were presented as well as the patient-centered focus. “Being an IBD patient even five to 10 years ago is not what it is today, and there’s such a brighter future moving forward,” she says.

Stephan Targan, MD, speaks at the 2024 Crohn's & Colitis Congress.

Stephan Targan, MD, speaks at the 2024 Crohn's & Colitis Congress.

We bring together leading scientists, industry, academic centers, healthcare professionals, and patients from around the globe to advise and guide decisions on the most promising areas of IBD research to pursue.

Alan Moss, MD, Chief Scientific Officer, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

Native Spanish speakers can find resources and culturally relevant information on the microsite. 

New Educational Resources Reach Spanish-Speaking Patients

Los recursos educativos llegan a los pacientes que hablan español.

Spanish is the second-most spoken native language in the world, and the rate of IBD in Hispanic/Latino people is similar to that of non-Hispanic Whites. We launched our Spanish language microsite in 2021 and have since enriched the site with additional Spanish language resources. In November 2023, we launched a video that discusses preparation and recovery from surgery, and in January 2024 added a new video with basic information about what IBD is and its impact on the Hispanic/Latino community.


“We want to make sure we’re addressing all parts of the IBD journey, as well as including information that is culturally relevant to the experience of native Spanish speakers,” says Catherine Soto, associate vice president of Patient Education & Support at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.


Valery Vilchez Parra, MD, Explains Surgical Options for IBD to Spanish Speakers

La Dra. Valery Vilchez Parra nos proporciona una introducción a diversos tratamientos quirúrgicos para pacientes con enfermedad de Crohn y colitis ulcerosa.

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Manejo Quirúrgicos De Enfermedad Inflamatoria Intestinal

Fundraising and Donors


On behalf of everyone at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, thank you! Our efforts are fueled by our community of remarkable patients, caregivers, clinicians, researchers, volunteers, and supporters who each day inspire us to keep working hard for better treatments and cures.

All year, you participate in our community events and encourage us with your stories of hope and resilience. You inspire us with your commitment to raising funds that support IBD research, awareness, and initiatives designed to make the lives of people with IBD better. We invite you to continue your efforts and find your community of support through local events like our galas, Take Steps, Team Challenge, spin4 crohn’s & colitis cures, and more.

2022 Supporters


The following individuals and foundations have made important and significant contributions to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in support of our mission programs. We are deeply grateful to them for their extraordinarily generous gifts.


View our 2022 Supporters



Past Impact & Annual Reports


Read about the advances the Foundation has made in the IBD space.


View our Past Impact Reports

Your support

Your support inspires our commitment to create a new future for people living with IBD.

A Message From Our Leadership

A Message from our Leadership

Michael Osso, President & CEO, and Amber Backhaus, Chair of the Board

Our dedicated team at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation remains steadfastly focused on our mission to find cures and improve the lives of people living with IBD. We are proud of the critical role we’ve played in every major research breakthrough in IBD. This Impact Report shares our latest research on biomarkers and the progress we are making towards creating personalized treatments for IBD patients.


Eighty-five percent of people who have engaged with the Foundation say that we have positively affected their IBD journey. In this report, you will learn about our new resources for helping people navigate IBD and live a better quality of life. You will also meet patients, doctors, and researchers who share first-hand the impact that we have had on their lives.


We see great things on the horizon and are committed to further accelerating the progress we are already making. All we need is your support to help drive our next breakthrough.


With warm regards,


Michael Osso

Michael Osso

President & CEO


Amber Backhaus

Chair, Board of Trustees

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