Newswise — Washington, D.C. (January 13, 2021) --- The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association announced that Randall Rutta, President and CEO, is leaving to join the National Health Council (NHC) as its CEO, effective February 12, 2021. Rutta came to AARDA in early 2019 after working alongside the organization for years and has been instrumental in advocating for the more than 50 million Americans with autoimmune disease.

“We are grateful to Randy for all that he has accomplished to grow AARDA’s positive impact for autoimmune patients,” said Rich Hodge, Chairman of the AARDA Board of Directors.“We are delighted that he will remain a close colleague as CEO of the National Health Council and we wish him the very best in this new role.”

“This has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me – personally and professionally,” said Rutta. “It’s always a privilege to work with remarkable professionals who are standing up for individuals with autoimmune disease, many of whom don’t have access to the information or resources to navigate their condition. AARDA is a longstanding member of the NHC, and I’m thrilled that we’ll continue to have the opportunity to collaborate on behalf of patients and stakeholders.”

Lilly Stairs, vice chair of the AARDA Board of Directors, will serve as interim CEO until a permanent leader is selected. A recognized leader in the patient advocacy community, Stairs is the Founder & Principal at Patient Authentic and brings extensive experience working across the healthcare ecosystem, encompassing work in clinical trials, health tech, disease education, and policy.

The AARDA Board of Directors has created an executive search committee to identify potential candidates. Interested individuals are invited to contact [email protected] for information.


About AARDA American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) is the nation's only nonprofit 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.

Upcoming AARDA Events: National Briefing on Autoimmunity & COVID-19 Vaccines; National Summit on Autoimmune Patient Priorities, and a slate of activities during Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month in March 2021. For details, visit Events Calendar at For more information, visit Follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.