AARDA’s Board of Directors Salutes AARDA Founder and Longtime Staff as December’s #Autoimmune Heroes

Article ID: 667012

Released: 29-Dec-2016 11:05 AM EST

Source Newsroom: American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA)

  • Pat Barber

  • Jerry Ladd

  • Eula Hoover

  • Virginia Ladd

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AARDA’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS SALUTES AARDA FOUNDER AND LONGTIME STAFF AS DECEMBER’S #AUTOIMMUNE HEROES

DETROIT, December 29, 2016 – American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) announced today its latest Autoimmune Heroes – Founder and Executive Director Virginia Ladd, Director of Operations Jerry Ladd, Assistant Director Patricia Barber and InFocus Editor and Executive Assistant Eula Hoover.

AARDA recognizes these four individuals who are the driving force behind the organization’s founding and tremendous growth and success in creating a national dialog around autoimmunity and autoimmune disease, advocating, facilitating and funding collaborative research and public awareness campaigns, and providing a support system for the 50 million Americans and their families who are impacted by the more than 100 autoimmune diseases, including:

 Virginia Ladd, the Founder and Executive Director of American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, for her vision to found an organization to bring a national focus to autoimmunity and autoimmune disease and collaboration to research, education, awareness and advocacy efforts.

 Jerry Ladd, Director of Operations of AARDA, for his attention to detail to the day-to-day running of AARDA, allowing others to focus on the organization’s mission to eradicate autoimmune disease, the alleviation of suffering and the socio-economic impact of autoimmunity.

 Patricia Barber, Assistant Director, AARDA, for her more than 20 years of service to AARDA, lending her ear and providing compassion to untold numbers of autoimmune patients who were seeking a diagnosis, needing help navigating the health care system and working with them how to best present their symptoms to doctors.

 Eula Hoover, Editor, InFocus, and Executive Assistant, AARDA, for her unwavering dedication to AARDA from its very beginnings as a fledgling non-profit to the national organization that it is today, volunteering and working to do whatever needed to be done… answering phones, planning board meetings and proofreading educational materials, among others.

Part of its yearlong 25th anniversary celebration, AARDA’s #AutoimmuneHeroes campaign recognizes the work of individuals and organizations that have advanced the autoimmune disease agenda in the areas of research, patient safety, advocacy, public education and awareness, service and volunteerism, among others.

“Their leadership and hard work has been directly responsible for AARDA'S success,” said Stanley Finger, longtime AARDA board member and former chairman.

Each month during its anniversary year, AARDA will be announcing its #AutoimmuneHeroes. Over the last 25 years, these heroes – both individuals and organizations – have proved critical to helping AARDA become the national organization it is today, while positively impacting the lives of the 50 million Americans with AD and their families.

In addition, AARDA also launched this year its #25for25 fundraising campaign. It invites individuals and organizations the world over to recognize AARDA’s achievements on behalf of people with autoimmune disease and support its work going forward by donating $25 to the organization (www.aarda.org).

About American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation's only non-profit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women's health issue, and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit www.aarda.org.

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PROFILES – December 2016 Autoimmune Heroes

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Salutes

Autoimmune Hero Virginia T. Ladd in recognition for her…


 vision to found an organization to bring a national focus to autoimmunity and increase collaboration in autoimmune research, education, awareness, and advocacy.

 more than 30 years of involvement in the nonprofit community as a patient advocate and educator. Before AARDA, Ladd served as president and executive director of the Lupus Foundation of America.

 instrumental role in the formation of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), an alliance dedicated to advocacy for patient-centered health care, and is an immediate past member of its board of governors.

 founding and facilitating the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG), an organization of 39 national autoimmune disease-specific groups that advocates tirelessly on key issues including patient safety, step therapy, access to medicine and the Affordable Care Act, among others.

 commitment to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serving on several committees including the Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee; the Public Interest Committee for the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood; the Public Interest Group for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the Panel of Experts for the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan.

 board service to the United Nations NGO Health Committee and the National Health Council.

Since the very beginning of AARDA, Virginia, as the founder, realized its incredible potential and the obvious need that existed for the type of services it was to provide. As the years went on, AARDA’s tremendous growth and national and international recognition and results dwarfed even her original optimism. Although autoimmune diseases have not been conquered and still have a ways to go, Virginia’s passion for the cause inspired so many folks’ dedication to the AARDA team that she has no doubt that all the hard work will eventual bring the cures so desperately needed.

“I knew when I started AARDA it would be a long and difficult task. If successful, it would impact significantly the lives of those who suffered with an autoimmune disease. Working with the AARDA team to accomplish its mission has been a joy and a passion of my life. AARDA has an important future as it moves onward toward meeting its long term goals."

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Salutes

Autoimmune Hero Jerry Ladd in recognition for his…

 25 years of service to AARDA right from the very beginning as Director of Operations, handling the accounting, office management and the Combined Federal Campaign program.

 working behind the scenes to get AARDA off the ground, securing its footing and helping it grow to become the successful and respected national organization it is today.

 paying close attention to the day-to-day running of AARDA, allowing others to focus on the organization’s mission to eradicate autoimmune diseases, the alleviation of suffering and the socio-economic impact of autoimmunity through fostering and facilitating collaboration in the areas of education, public awareness, research and patient services in an effective, ethical and efficient manner.

 serving as AARDA’s go-to travel and events booking agent, with a talent for arranging deals for staff, guest speakers and meeting space that saved AARDA untold amounts of money over the years which could be redirected to programming and research.
Jerry is "proud to have been a small part of this success story and will always remember with pride the millions of autoimmune disease sufferers whose lives have been ( and will be) made better by its existence".

American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Salutes

Autoimmune Hero Patricia Barber in recognition for her…

 more than 20 years of service to AARDA, first as a member of its Corporate Advisory Board and then, as an AARDA staff member, starting as a meeting planner to advocacy coordinator to patient educator to assistant director today.

 lending an ear and providing compassion to untold numbers of autoimmune patients over the years who were seeking a diagnosis, helping them navigate the health system and how to best present their symptoms to doctors and other health care professionals when many times these symptoms are dismissed.

 working collaboratively with AARDA’s board, its volunteer corps and the members of the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups to raise funds for research and advocate for increased awareness of autoimmunity and autoimmune disease.

Pat explains how she came to AARDA, “The financial institution that I worked for donated a small room right above my office to Virginia to get AARDA off the ground. After leaving my banking career after 26 years, I volunteered for AARDA for several months, then said “yes” to becoming an employee. After all, who can say ‘no’ to Virginia?”

“My many years of involvement in the autoimmune community have exposed me to the multiple obstacles facing patients and the medical community in diagnosing and treating many autoimmune diseases. Through advice, education, collaboration, and administration, utilizing my business background and educational growth opportunities, I have been able to couple my compassion for all patients and their families with my own deep personal interest in the family connection in autoimmune disease.”


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Salutes

Autoimmune Hero Eula Hoover in recognition for her…


 25 years of dedication to AARDA, from its very beginnings as a fledgling non-profit to the national organization that it is today, volunteering and working to do whatever needed to be done – from helping to arrange AARDA’s first office space, working in the office (answering phones, typing, stuffing envelopes) and organizing and participating in events (setting up board meetings, speaking before groups) to volunteer recruitment, communications (writing and proofreading educational materials) and everything else in between.

 serving as editor of AARDA’s quarterly newsletter InFocus which as published continuously for 25 years.

When Virginia Ladd remarked 25 years ago that she would start an autoimmune organization if she had an office, Eula said, "I know where one is available rent free." A short time later, upstart AARDA was ensconced in a little second floor office of a Detroit bank building.

On her experience with AARDA, Eula says there is "never a dull moment! It's been tremendously exciting to go from ‘autoimmune? what's that?’ to a growing understanding that autoimmune is a category of disease encompassing more than 100 diseases. We've also seen autoimmune patients gain the respect and understanding of the medical community--much less of the ‘it's all in your head’ dismissal.”

"I have been privileged to work with compatible, capable, and dedicated AARDA staff. I've seen an amazing variety of support for the autoimmune effort--office and fundraising volunteers; local contacts; speakers; Board members; in-kind donors; grassroots volunteers; corporate, foundation, and individual donors; internationally known researchers who see the real-life autoimmune patients behind their research; and, yes, Kmart shoppers who, 25 years ago, dropped coins into our canisters! It's been an enriching experience."


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