Celebrating 15 Years!

March 22, 2019

Celebrating 15 Years!

15 Pivotal Moments in 15 Years of Achievement

As we make great strides to accelerate research for treatments and a cure of celiac disease, Beyond Celiac is pleased to reflect on some of our accomplishments over the years. We’ve come a long way, but still have a long way to go! Below is a list of 15 notable “moments” that are the building blocks for our future!

  1. Driven by her desire to help others get diagnosed early, Alice Bast defies experts and lands a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) is born!
  2. Ed Snider, founder of the Philadelphia Flyers, becomes the first NFCA Board Member and makes first 6-figure contribution
  3. As the only organization dedicated to raising awareness and driving diagnosis of celiac disease, NFCA launches the first ever National Awareness Campaign with Heidi Collins of CNN as our spokeswoman and in partnership with Quest Diagnostics, which resulted in increasing testing for celiac disease by 40%.
  4. Because physicians need access to high quality, accurate information about celiac disease in order to better recognize and diagnose patients, NFCA launches the first celiac disease Continuing Medical Education Program, training 900 medical professionals and resulting in an estimated 6,000 new diagnoses.
  5. Because our community needs easy access to gluten-free food, NFCA leads the way in making gluten-free food available and more affordable with the launch of the first ever gluten-free expo, Appetite for Awareness. Events held in 6 cities across the country in partnerships with Walmart, Whole Foods, Wegmans and more lead to the explosion of gluten-free packaged goods available everywhere.
  6. Because our community shouldn’t have to “settle” or go without, NFCA partners with Anheuser-Busch to launch the first ever mainstream gluten-free product into the marketplace, Redbridge gluten-free beer
  7. Recognizing the celiac disease community as a partner, NFCA is the first patient advocacy organization to adopt a social media strategy, joining Facebook in October 2009 and reaching 100,000 supporters by 2014 then quickly expanding to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  8. With the goal of ensuring that our community can eat without fear, NFCA launches GREAT Kitchens and envisions and hosts the first Gluten-Free pavilion at the National Restaurant Association annual convention resulting in driving restaurant interest in gluten-free offerings nation-wide.
  9. Because celiac disease is largely undiagnosed and because relatives of those with celiac disease are at much greater risk for developing it also, NFCA launches the first ever family testing initiative, Seriously Celiac Disease PSA and the Talk. Tell. Test campaign
  10. Because our community needs confidence in making food purchases, NFCA, working with the FDA, leads the way for safe and accurate gluten-free food labeling and partners with the best gluten-free product certification in North America, the Gluten-Free Certification Program
  11. Because our community tells us that they think they are getting glutened when taking medications, NFCA spearheads a study with a grant from the FDA demonstrating that gluten in medications is a significant issue for the celiac disease community that needs to be addressed, and launches the GREAT Pharmacists training program
  12. Because our community needs to be heard, Alice Bast and other NFCA leaders share our needs and concerns with leading policy makers and researchers nationally and internationally at the FDA GREAT3 workshop in Washington DC and the 14th International Coeliac Meeting in Oslo, Norway.
  13. Because we now know that the gluten-free diet is not enough, NFCA envisions and holds the first multi-disciplinary celiac disease research Summit, putting patients at the center of research and setting the stage for increasing our community’s participation in finding answers and solutions for this serious genetic autoimmune disease
  14. Because we need a future in which people with celiac disease can live healthy lives, free from social stigma and fear of gluten exposure, NFCA becomes Beyond Celiac, rebranding and expanding to embrace research and launching the unique engagement platform and registry for people with celiac disease and their families, Go Beyond Celiac
  15. Because we are on the leading edge of driving research for treatments and a cure, Beyond Celiac becomes the first and only advocacy organition to launch a science department and hire a CSO and convening the first annual Beyond Celiac Research Symposium

Beyond Celiac thanks our generous Celebrating 15 Years of Achievement sponsors:

Lead Author
Alice and Will Bast
Dilworth Paxon, LLP
Goldman Sachs Gives, C. Kane Brenan
Independence Blue Cross
Raynier Institute & Foundation
Sarena Snider, Fred Shabel and the Directors of The Snider Foundation
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies
Comcast NBCUniversal
Flyers Charities
Carole Haas Gravagno
Amy and Bill Green

Corporate Underwriter
Wilmington Trust


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