APFED Welcomes Dawn McCoy to Board of Directors

April 29, 2016

Long-time Advocate Joins Board of Eosinophil-Associated Diseases Nonprofit

ATLANTA, GA—The Board of Directors of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) announces the appointment of new board officer Dawn McCoy. Ms. McCoy will play a key part in donor development, the shaping and implementation of APFED’s strategic initiatives, community relations, and assisting with education and advocacy efforts.

Ms. McCoy has been involved with APFED since 2012, when her son was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis at 18 months old. Since that time, she has been active in the Eos community, co-founding the Central Virginia EOS Support Group, chairing fundraising events to benefit research, and organizing regional educational seminars. She has written a number of articles that illustrate the challenges of living with these diseases, and has provided feedback and assistance to APFED to develop meaningful resources for patients and their families.

Ms. McCoy led efforts in the state of Virginia to have a state proclamation issued in honor of National Eosinophil Awareness Week (recognized each year during the third week of May) and has advocated for a recent legislative measure to require food allergy training in Virginia restaurants.

“I have become deeply involved with APFED over the past few years and continue to be amazed by the work that they do to fund research and provide ongoing support for those who are affected by eosinophilic-associated disease, including my own family,” says Ms. McCoy. “I’m thrilled to join the Board and be part of the crucial behind-the-scenes work required to raise awareness for these conditions.”

Ms. McCoy brings 20 years of experience as a senior-level executive serving in diverse roles in non-profit organizations and government agencies. Currently, she is founder and president of Flourish Leadership Group, a leadership development firm, and resource development coordinator with the Virginia Parent Teachers Association. She is also a nationally-recognized speaker, leadership consultant, and author of two books. In addition, she has published numerous articles on leadership development and organizational development.

In 2014, McCoy was recognized as a finalist for the Family Advocacy Award from Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in 2015 she was a fellow with the nationally-recognized Partners in Policymaking Program, an advocacy initiative for families with disabilities. That same year, McCoy was honored with APFED’s Elizabeth Allen Award, a prestigious award named for the organization’s founder that recognizes outstanding individuals who have made broad impact in the areas of APFED’s mission points: education, advocacy, research, and support. Recently, she was invited to Washington, DC for Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Association.

“We are excited to welcome Dawn McCoy to our Board of Directors,” said APFED President Dr. Wendy Book. “She is a champion for eosinophil-disease education and passionate advocate for patients and families. Her commitment to further our mission and her endless energy make her a valuable addition to the team as we continue to work on behalf of our patient community.”

About Eosinophil-Associated Diseases
Eosinophil-associated diseases (EADs) 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 gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs) 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.
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 organs

Founded in 2001, the 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.