WASHINGTON, June 6, 2024 – The Celiac Disease Foundation, a leading global patient advocacy organization committed to accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease, on May 22 awarded its first Celiac Disease Policy Leadership Award to U.S. Representative Betty McCollum (MN-04) for her distinguished service and advocacy on behalf of the celiac disease patient community.

“Representative McCollum has proven herself to be a dedicated ally of the celiac disease community at every turn, demonstrating a powerful, inspiring commitment to our collective mission,” said Marilyn G. Geller, Celiac Disease Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “Her work is truly remarkable, and on behalf of the Celiac Disease Foundation and the patient community we are proud to represent, we extend our deepest gratitude with our Celiac Disease Policy Leadership Award.” 

“It is an honor to receive the first ever Celiac Disease Policy Leadership Award,” said Rep. McCollum. “As the founding chair of the Congressional Celiac Disease Caucus, I know federal investment is a key part of the progress our country has made in expanding research and treatment for celiac disease. I am grateful to the Celiac Disease Foundation for their dedication and partnership in furthering this progress and working to find a cure.”

Representative McCollum, who represents Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District, which includes St. Paul and surrounding areas, is not only an advocate but also part of a family directly impacted by celiac disease. In 2021, she established the bipartisan Congressional Celiac Disease Caucus during the 117th Congress. This move significantly increased federal recognition of celiac disease. The Caucus has been instrumental in securing federal funding for celiac disease research, supporting legislation to ease the suffering of celiac disease patients, and elevating patient experiences to decision-makers on Capitol Hill and across federal agencies. 

Celiac disease is one of the world’s most prevalent genetic autoimmune diseases, affecting more than 3 million Americans, 70-80% of whom are undiagnosed. Living with celiac disease is a daily struggle, and left untreated, it also increases the mortality risks for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.  

The Celiac Disease Foundation Policy Leadership Award recognizes outstanding commitment in advancing the needs of celiac disease patients, including advocacy for federal celiac disease research funding and support for legislation that will improve the health of all people affected by this life-altering diagnosis. Representative McCollum is the first recipient of this award. 

About the Celiac Disease Foundation 

The Celiac Disease Foundation, established in 1990, is a leading global patient advocacy organization committed to accelerating diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease. Our mission is to improve the health and well-being of the millions of individuals around the world affected by this genetic autoimmune disease through our strategic investments in research, advocacy, and education. Our unparalleled advocacy program has led the way to secure federal recognition and first-ever research funding from agencies including the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. Our iCureCeliac® Patient Registry and extensive patient recruitment services at iRecruitCeliac.org enable us to identify qualified patient candidates and speed their enrollment to advance critical disease research. We adhere to the highest scientific and ethical standards as we work each day to promote understanding of celiac disease, empower our patient and provider community, and collaborate with partners and stakeholders to carry our mission forward.  


Celiac Disease Foundation
Jennifer Roop
[email protected]
844.593.8169 X 106