Archive for July 23rd, 2009

 


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The Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) made the initial presentation of its pilot physician education program to Robert Wergin, MD, at the Milford Family Center in Milford, Nebraska. Recently named ‘Family Physician of the Year,” Dr. Wergin is in general practice at the Milford Clinic.

With this presentation, CSA launched the first phase of the most ambitious celiac disease physician education program in United States history – the CSA Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Physician Education Program (CSA-PEP).

The CSA-PEP was created to increase diagnosis and improve treatment while increasing celiac disease awareness in the medical community and the public. It will provide 60,800 doctors and 10,000 medical students with information and resources that will aid them in identifying, diagnosing and treating people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

The program is designed so individuals have the option, with a donation of $70 or more, to present the CSA-PEP package to their personal physicians so they can receive optimal care.

This program advances CSA efforts to promote the CSA mission statement: “Celiacs Helping Celiacs.”

Materials in the CSA-PEP package include both physician and patient information: National Institutes of Health (NIH) celiac disease materials; information on dermatitis herpetformis; a gluten-free diet guide by Dr. Jean Guest, CSA’s consultant dietitian; the CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing; the medical reference Recognizing Celiac Disease; a current issue of the CSA Lifeline membership newsletter; fact sheets, brochures, patient pamphlets and other CSA publications.

For more information about this opportunity or to get involved with fundraising and distribution, please contact the CSA at 1-877-CSA-4CSA, or visit CSA online at www.csaceliacs.org.

Celiac disease is the most common inherited autoimmune disease in the world. The National Institutes of Health estimates 1% of the United States population has celiac disease, making it more common than breast cancer, autism or type 1 diabetes. Of the 3 million people in the US who have celiac disease, less than 5% are diagnosed. Gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect many more people than celiac disease. Healthcare costs of untreated celiac disease are estimated to run $14.5 to $35 billion per year. The disorder is triggered by ingesting wheat, barley, rye or oats and results in inflammation, tissue damage, and malabsorption of nutrients leading to a host of varied symptoms. The treatment of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is removing wheat, barley, rye and oats from the diet.

With almost 100,000 contacts, over 9,000 members and 125 local support group chapters across the country, the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) is the largest member-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis worldwide through education, information and research.

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7/21/2009
Wonderful, gluten-free evening at Citizens Bank Park.
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The Philadelphia Phillies supported NFCA and other area celiac support groups by hosting celiac disease awareness night at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, and commemorated the occasion with a 10-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs!

From MLB.com

Phillies host Celiac Awareness Night
Club raises money, spreads info on digestive disease
By David Gurian-Peck / MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies hosted the second Celiac Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park on Monday, raising money for and spreading information about the autoimmune digestive disease that affects roughly three million Americans.

Celiacs cannot eat gluten, a protein particle found in wheat, barley, rye and all of their derivatives.

In conjunction with the Phillies, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) sold over 500 tickets for Monday night’s game against the Cubs, raising over $2,000. Aramark set up a stand of gluten-free food items behind the section, including hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, Redridge beer and Woodchuck draft cider.

Most of these are offered every night at select locations throughout Citizens Bank Park, which for three consecutive years has been named the No. 1 vegetarian ballpark by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

“So many parents and concerned fans give me a call and want to see what’s available to them,” said David Lippman, director of concessions for Aramark. “A lot of folks were just thrilled that they have something here. They can come here, enjoy their team and eat something. ”

Oz Ostrofsky — whose wife, Nany Lozoff, has celiac disease and whose daughter is gluten-intolerant — was selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“It’s an honor to be nominated by the NFCA and it’s great to be on the field with the World [Series] champions,” said Ostrofsky, a former chef who has worked to increase the number of gluten-free items in Philadelphia restaurants. “It’s about making it easy for everyone. So no one’s ‘special needs,’ no one has to go out of their way.”

Indeed, awareness was the No. 1 objective of Monday’s charity event, since 97 percent of celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Celiacs who, unaware of their condition, continue to eat products with gluten suffer nutritional problems, especially anemia; reproductive disorders, which affects half of all women with celiac disease; insufficient growth in children; reduced bone density; neurological disorders; and some cancers. Although research is under way, there is currently no cure or vaccine; the only treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet.

“How could you get more awareness than to be with the Phillies?” said Nancy Ginter, NFCA director of operations. “It’s a great forum, and everybody’s watching the Phillies. … What we want to engender is instead of saying, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got celiac disease, and this will be horrible,’ to say, ‘No, it’s great. Now you know what’s wrong with you.’”

More information on gluten-free options at Citizens Bank Park can be found here.

More information on celiac disease can be found here.

David Gurian-Peck is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.