ATLANTA, GA–The Board of Directors of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED), based in Atlanta, GA, announces the election of a new board officer, Denise Mack. Mrs. Mack will serve as the organization’s Director of Research.
Mrs. Mack has extensive experience in research, analysis, and communications. Her college-age son suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis and she understands firsthand the challenges that patients and their caregivers face, particularly when it comes to diagnostic delays, adequate disease management, and the impact the disease has on quality of life.
A former analyst with the U.S. Department of Defense, Mrs. Mack has held a number of volunteer positions during her career, in both leadership and support roles, including experience in eosinophil disease advocacy.
“For well over a decade, APFED has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to serving the needs of our patient community,” noted Mrs. Mack, adding, “I consider it to be a privilege to serve as a patient advocate with this organization and to be able to help shape and implement initiatives which can improve the lives of those living with eosinophil-associated diseases.”
“APFED is honored to have the expertise that Mrs. Mack brings to the board,” said APFED President, Dr. Wendy Book. “She has made significant contributions to eosinophil-disease education and has long advocated for patients on a national level. We look forward to working with her to carry out APFED’s mission and to improve the programs and services we offer.”
Founded in 2001, APFED is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophil-associated diseases, which occur when eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, cause damage to the body.
Eosinophils play a role in the immune system, helping to fight off certain types of infections and parasites. These cells respond to triggers (e.g., food and airborne allergens) by releasing toxins into the affected area. Eosinophilic disorders are named for the areas affected by abnormal behavior of these blood cells:
Eosinophilic Cystitis: bladder
Eosinophilic Fasciitis: connective tissue
Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders:
Eosinophilic Colitis (EC): large intestine
Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE): esophagus
Eosinophilic Gastritis (EG): stomach
Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (EGE): stomach and small intestine
Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis, aka Churg-Strauss Syndrome: blood vessels, various organ systems
Eosinophilic Pneumonia: lungs
Hypereosinophilic Syndrome: blood and any organ
Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders are distinct diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract, which render the patient unable to tolerate food proteins. Treatments for these disorders include restricted diets or total food elimination, requiring patients to live off an elemental formula (taken either orally or via a feeding tube), and/or steroid treatments.
“It is a pleasure to welcome Denise Mack to APFED’s Board of Directors,” said APFED Executive Director, Mary Jo Strobel. “The passion she brings to patient advocacy, coupled with her drive to facilitate research advances is truly an asset to not only our organization, but our entire disease community as a whole. We are excited to have her guidance and leadership as APFED continues to grow and expand.”
To learn more about APFED and about eosinophil-associated diseases, visit www.apfed.org.
American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is a non-profit organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophilic disorders. APFED’s mission is to passionately embrace, support, and improve the lives of patients and families affected by eosinophil-associated diseases through education and awareness, research, support, and advocacy.