Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Pfizer, Inc. Issue RFP to Reduce Health Disparities in Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

NEW YORK, NY – The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (Foundation), in partnership with Pfizer, Inc., announce a Request for Proposals (RFP) for healthcare professionals to reduce health disparities that exist around vaccine usage and health maintenance in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Through a grant mechanism designed to support innovative research and/or education interventions, the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Disparities in Health Maintenance Collaboration, will support multi-disciplinary health services approaches for the improved management of vaccine usage and health maintenance in IBD patients in medically underserved populations (those who have experienced health and healthcare disparities secondary to social determinants of health).

“IBD patients often view their gastroenterologist as their primary provider; however, data has shown that these patients do not receive preventive services at the same rate as general medical patients. Preventive care and maintenance are critical to improving overall patient outcomes,” said Anita Afzali, MD, chair of the RFP review panel. “We also know that health care disparities due to race contribute to suboptimal healthcare outcomes for minorities and low-income groups. That’s why it is critical to identify differences among those at-risk to increase their access and ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

The RFP seeks evidence-based projects that focus on the development and implementation of educational and/or systems-based interventions to improve vaccination utilization and/or preventive health maintenance among patients with IBD. Although previous studies have not described significant differences in disease phenotype or response to current therapies in IBD, there are notable barriers in access to care beyond socioeconomic status alone. Social and/or systemic causes, such as implicit bias, patient-provider distrust, communication, or knowledge gaps, or lack of shared decision-making among different race or ethnic groups, attribute to health disparities and influence disease outcomes, not only in progression of bowel disease, but also related to preventative care in IBD.

Afzali also notes, “In general, primary health care maintenance (HCM) services are significantly lower among IBD patients than the non-IBD patient population. As such, the causes for health disparities in IBD HCM requires a better understanding, as these patients are already a vulnerable population. Studies have demonstrated that with improved education regarding importance of vaccination and preventative care screening, healthcare outcomes and adherence also improves.”

Funding of $700,000 Available

The total available funding related to this RFP is $700,000 through Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change. Individual projects requesting up to $350,000 will be considered. Eligible applicants will have the capacity to reach patients with IBD, including medical, dental, nursing, allied health, and/or pharmacy professional schools; healthcare institutions (both large and small); professional associations; government agencies; and other entities with a mission related to healthcare improvement. 

Submissions are due July 13, 2020. Recipients will be notified by email in late August 2020. Applications are available at


About the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the leading non-profit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The Foundation’s mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life for the estimated 3 million Americans living with IBD. For over 50 years, we have been inspiring and engaging patients and caregivers in the country’s largest IBD community and helping to dramatically accelerate the pace of research by breaking down traditional barriers to patients, data, funding, and collaborations. We also provide extensive educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public. For more information, visit, call 888-694-8872, or email [email protected].


About Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning and Change

The mission of Pfizer Independent Grants for Learning & Change (IGLC) is to partner with the global healthcare community to improve patient outcomes in areas of mutual interest through support of measurable learning and change strategies. “Independent” means that the projects funded by Pfizer are the full responsibility of the recipient organization.  Pfizer has no influence over any aspect of the projects and only asks for reports about the results and the impact of the projects to share them publicly.



Jeanine Kober

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

[email protected]


Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-fueled organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D.