This month Celiac Disease Foundation launches the CDF Online Advocacy Program designed to empower the celiac community to advocate for our disease.  The Advocacy Program features CDF’s public policy priorities, tools and resources for taking action on both a national and local basis, a Legislative Action Center in partnership with the American Celiac Disease Alliance (ACDA) which allows you to easily learn about federal and state legislative bills, follow their status, and search for and contact your elected officials, and the latest in CDF advocacy news. The Advocacy Program provides for a united advocate voice to encourage decision makers to champion celiac disease in the face of competing priorities. Please accept my heartfelt thank you to each of you who responded to our National Conference and Engagement surveys this summer, confirming that celiac disease education and advocacy are our community’s top priorities.  We look forward to providing you with the tools and resources to be your own best advocate.

The development of the Advocacy Program was one of a number of projects completed by CDF’s summer interns. Auburn University student and human-trafficking rights activist Alana Broe was the creative force behind the Advocacy Program.  Marisa Rothman of University of Michigan served as co-editor of the Summer INSIGHT newsmagazine; Rebekah Kuhfal of University of Nebraska at Omaha managed the Conference and Engagement surveys and recruited the 2014 Team Gluten-Free TCS NYC Marathon team, and Nicole Ramos of Rutgers University designed our upcoming Back to School Campaign, in addition to managing our Team Gluten-Free program and Team Run Rock n’ Roll and Team Boston Half Marathon racers.  Each of our talented interns also played an integral role in assuring the success of our 2014 National Conference & Gluten-Free EXPO.  Perhaps their favorite project though was the Young & Gluten-Free blog, otherwise known as, “No Kitchen is Too Small.”  Working with limited resources both in appliances and dollars, the interns cooked their way through this summer, demonstrating that we can all eat deliciously gluten-free on a budget. Through your generous support, CDF is proud to be able to offer an internship program that provides promising students with celiac disease the training ground to become our community’s most vocal advocates.

I encourage you to review CDF’s public policy priorities, and to sign up for the US Preventive Services Task Force email list for updates on the Task Force progress in drafting recommendations for the screening of celiac disease.

We thank you for your generous support of CDF.  While there still is a long way to go to stop the suffering caused by celiac disease, with your help we are getting there.

To Your Health,

Marilyn G. Geller, Chief Executive Officer