This October the Celiac Disease Foundation recognized excellence among physicians focusing on celiac disease at a dinner during the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition’s (NASPGHAN) annual meeting. Physicians and healthcare representatives from more than 15 hospitals gathered with Foundation staff at Bali Hai in San Diego to enjoy a gluten-free meal and celebrate researchers and officers of NASPGHAN’s Celiac Special Interest Group (SIG) and the important work they do through their care for our patient community and in service of our shared mission.
Established in 2018, the Celiac SIG is a working group that focuses on celiac disease projects and educational resources for providers and patients. The group’s goals include developing a community for clinicians, nurses, dietitians, and psychologists to discuss subjects of interest in pediatric celiac disease and gluten-related disorders; developing standards of clinical care and educational materials and disseminating information on quality improvement initiatives and research; and maintaining up-to-date NASPGHAN guidelines and position statements. The Celiac Disease Foundation serves as the Patient Advocate representative to the Celiac SIG and developed the NASPGHAN Clinical Guide for Pediatric Celiac Disease, an online tool to assist physicians in diagnosing celiac disease (clinical.celiac.org).
At the event, the Foundation honored Dr. Maureen Leonard, MD, MMSc, as the recipient of the Foundation’s Young Investigator in Clinical Science prize. Dr. Leonard serves as the clinical director of the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. The prize was first announced at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago in May, but Dr. Leonard was unable to attend that ceremony.
The dinner also recognized leadership changes in the Celiac SIG. Foundation CEO Marilyn G. Geller spoke briefly to celebrate the outgoing chairs and wish the new leaders well in their positions:
- Outgoing Chairs: Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD (one of the Foundation’s grant award recipients and sponsor of the CDF – Jocelyn Silvester Rising Villus Student Research Award); Edward Hoffenberg, MD
- Incoming Chairs: Maureen Leonard, MD, MMSc; Imad Absah, MD
- Incoming Vice-Chairs: Denis Chang, MD; Arun Singh, MD, MPH
The Foundation is pleased to have collaborated with NASPGHAN on this event and remains committed to supporting the Celiac SIG’s vital work in the years ahead, as we continue to improve the quality of life for those with celiac disease.