By: Christian John Lillis
Christian John Lillis
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2019 (Brooklyn, New York). Peggy Lillis Foundation (PLF) announced today it will convene its fourth National C. diff Summit and Lobby Day on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC. The Summit brings together 100 leaders in the fight against C. difficile infection, a superbug responsible for 30,000 American deaths annually. More than 500,000 Americans still struggle with this infection every year, with more than 100,000 suffering multiple recurrences. The Centers for Disease Control declared C. diff an urgent public health threat in 2013.
In 2018, PLF conducted the first-ever federal Lobby Day by C. diff Advocates. Each year, PLF invites leaders in medicine, public health, and grassroots organizing to meet with volunteer advocates who have fought C. diff themselves or lost a loved one. This year, 25 advocates from 14 states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, will take part.
According to PLF’s Executive Director Christian John Lillis, “Unlike better known diseases like cancer and HIV/AIDS, most superbugs, including C. difficile, have lacked a movement of patient and family advocates. That has contributed to public awareness and government funding which are low relative to the epidemic’s human and financial cost, estimated at $20 billion annually. PLF is building a national movement to end C. difficile related harm and our Summit is a key convening and catalyst in that movement.”
The Summit will be followed by a Lobby Day on Tuesday, April 9, when PLF’s Advocates Council along with industry and nonprofit partners will meet Members of Congress to educate them about C. difficile and enlist their support in combating it. “Through our pain and losses, we have become a family on a mission,” said Advocate Lucy Mead, a registered nurse from Florida who lost her mother, Edith, to C. diff in 2018.
The Summit will feature sessions on accurate diagnostics, designating diseases as nationally notifiable, the Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition and developing public policies to end this urgent public health threat.
Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) requires building a strong and motivated coalition of patients, professionals and advocates to unite in a broad-reaching and concerted effort to address the wide-ranging factors and behavioral changes needed to combat this enormous challenge. It’s why the Peggy Lillis Foundation and many of its members joined the Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition to join forces to share stories from a personal and professional standpoint to raise awareness of the need to combat AMR.
The Summit is free, but space is limited. Registration is on a first-come basis.
Financial support for the 2019 C. National C. diff Summit and Lobby Day is provided by Pfizer, BD, Merck, Pew Charitable Trusts, Vedanta Biosciences, TOMI Environmental Services, Rebiotix, ThermoFisher Scientific, Seres Therapeutics and Summit Therapeutics.