Celiac Disease Foundation works tirelessly year-round to educate the public about celiac disease, with May Celiac Awareness Month being an opportunity to expand our efforts even wider to touch more lives. Raising awareness about celiac disease has been a fundamental part of Celiac Disease Foundation’s mission since we were founded 25 years ago. As we come to learn more about celiac disease and its impact, the urgency of this cause has only grown. There are two primary objectives in our outreach efforts:
- Increase the diagnosis rate. Today, it is estimated that five in six Americans with celiac disease have not been diagnosed, yet the disease is growing rapidly in the population, as research suggests the prevalence is doubling approximately every 15 years. The needless physical and emotional suffering that accompanies misdiagnosis – not to mention the economic and social costs – demands more routine screening for celiac disease, as we do for other chronic diseases.
- Emphasize the growing awareness in the research community that adherence to a gluten-free diet alone may not be enough to successfully treat the disease. More research, constant vigilance, and new therapeutics are required to adequately treat this chronic disease.
Healthcare consumers (including both the diagnosed and undiagnosed populations), state and federal government officials, and healthcare practitioners and providers are all targets of our messaging and educational campaigns. We have had success explaining the realities of celiac disease to each of these audiences. As an example, please see this article in Nurse Practitioner Perspective, a magazine targeting a growing and vital segment of the practitioner community about the continuing crisis of under-diagnosed celiac disease. CDF Board Member, Jody Morris, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, CDF CEO Marilyn G. Geller, and CDF Community Coordinator, Talia Hassid were all quoted in this educational and insightful article.
For more information about our outreach and educational efforts, please contact Talia Hassid, CDF Community Coordinator at the CDF National Office at 818-716-1513 x110, or [email protected].