Never has there been a more exciting time for the Foundation than right now. We are on the brink of game-changing breakthroughs for our patients. In 2020, the Foundation invested $31 million in research, funding over 200 multi-year and one-year studies—a total investment of more than $400 million since our inception.
First and foremost, we have always been committed to providing opportunities for researchers at every stage of their careers -- from Career Development Awards to Senior Research Grants -- paving a desirable career path that attracts young investigators while retaining those already making valuable contributions in the field. However, in order to really set the stage for significant breakthroughs, over the past decade the research program has expanded beyond researcher-initiated grants and moved into funding multi-year, multi-disciplinary research initiatives such as Genetics, Microbiome, and Pediatrics. These programs have already begun to provide insight into new patient therapies, treatments and diagnostics.
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is the only inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) research and support organization. We focus our spending on four key areas: research, patient services, advocacy and professional education and could not fund our mission without the generous support of our volunteers and donors. We do not receive any government funding and truly appreciate your support.
We pride ourselves on funding only the highest quality research. We have a rigorous review process and have worked tirelessly to build a diverse portfolio of individual and collaborative research projects in high-priority areas. With an investment of $400 million since our inception, the Foundation has played a role in every major scientific breakthrough in IBD. Research Initiatives are developed to fill important unmet needs in Crohn's and colitis research. They are idea-driven projects that bring together multiple centers and investigators from across the country. The goal is to discover and support emerging areas of research that could impact the scientific community’s understanding of the causes of and potential cures/treatments for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Our current initiatives include the Microbiome, Genetics, Pediatric Risk Stratification, IBD Partners, IBD Qorus, and IBD Plexus.
One of our most exciting and important initiatives is IBD Plexus. IBD Plexus is the largest and most innovative research and information exchange platform ever created and will transform how IBD research will be conducted. The Plexus platform will speed progress toward precision medicine by enabling novel research, leading to better diagnostics, treatments, and ultimately, cures for IBD.
Our research is unprecedented and has significant potential to directly transform IBD patients' well-being. We are incredibly proud of the work our researchers do each and every day.
Our national and local programs and services are designed to provide patients of all ages and their loved ones with helpful information to better manage their disease while providing a supportive forum to share experiences and concerns, as well as connect with others.
Serving millions of patients and caregivers a year, our programs are designed to suit different learning styles. From in-person and online support groups to webinars and Twitter chats, we deliver information in the ways patients tell us they want to be educated. Our IBD Help Center is staffed by trained compassionate professionals who are available to answer questions by phone, email or instant messenger. We also have several satellite websites such as "Just Like Me" for teens and "Campus Connection" for college students. Our "I'll Be Determined" website focuses on patient empowerment, and the "IBD Community" website which provides an anonymous IBD community.
One of our most inspiring programs for patients is Camp Oasis! Dealing with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as a child is even more challenging. That is why the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation proudly established Camp Oasis exclusively for children with IBD over a decade ago. This co-ed residential summer camp program enriches the lives of children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis by providing them with a safe and supportive camp community.
The Foundation's co-founder Suzanne Rosenthal was passionate about advocacy and we continue with that same passion today. Our advocates are not only patients, but family members, friends, caregivers, and doctors who want to make their voices heard and see a future free from Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
We advocate on both the local and national level and lobby on the Hill annually. There are over 60 active members of Congress in the Crohn's and Colitis Caucus. Our current areas of focus include increased federal funding for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis research, awareness programs designed to improve the lives of patients and legislation to limit cost of care.
Caring for patients with IBD requires highly trained experts who require ongoing training. We provide a comprehensive series of education programs and resources for healthcare professionals who work with IBD patients, including doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other allied healthcare professionals. We update professionals on the latest developments in diagnosis, treatment, and management of IBD and help develop and cultivate the next generation of experts all with the goal of improving quality of care for all patients.
To learn more about the impact the Foundation is making, click here.