May. 08, 2012

LFA Honors Leaders From Government and Industry at the 2012 National Butterfly Gala

2012 honorees include U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Lupus Caucus Co-Chairs, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and U.S. Surgeon General

Leaders from government and industry were honored this evening for their leadership in encouraging public and private investments in life-saving research, education, and support services for people affected by lupus during the Lupus Foundation of America’s (LFA) National Butterfly Gala in Washington, DC.

This year’s Butterfly Gala, hosted by author and journalist Lee Woodruff, recognized U.S. Surgeon General, Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA; H. Thomas Watkins, Chairman, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO); and the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Lupus Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives Tom Rooney (R-FL-16), William Keating (D-MA-10), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18), and Jim Moran (D-VA-8). Singer Josh Krajcik and 2011 runner-up on THE X FACTOR®, received a special welcome from his mom, Lisa Pim, who is living with lupus, and opened the program with a powerful rendition of “At Last.”

“We have seen historic progress in lupus in recent years that would not have been possible without innovative leaders from government and industry working to make a difference in the lives of all those affected by lupus,” said Sandra C. Raymond, President and CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America. “The Lupus Foundation of America’s Butterfly Gala is an opportunity to recognize our honorees for their significant contributions and their commitment to elevate lupus to a place of prominence on the nation’s health care agenda.”

The 2012 LFA National Butterfly Gala honorees are:

U.S. House of Representatives Congressional Lupus Caucus Co-Chairs, Representatives Tom Rooney (R-FL-16), William Keating (D-MA-10), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-18), and Jim Moran (D-VA-8) for their leadership to ensure Members of Congress understand the impact of lupus on individuals and their families, and actively support the advancement of lupus research and increased awareness of lupus among the public and health professionals. The co-chairs received the National Policy Leadership Award.

H. Thomas Watkins, Chairman, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) for his critical role in enabling cutting-edge research and development initiatives that have changed the odds of serious, life-threatening conditions affecting millions around the world. Mr. Watkins received the National Research Innovation and Leadership Award.

Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, U.S. Surgeon General for standing with the LFA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health to pioneer medical school curricula that will improve physician training and allow for earlier diagnosis of lupus and more effective treatment. Dr. Benjamin received the National Leadership in Lupus Education Award.

Other special guests featured were Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS); Shannon Boxx, U.S. Women’s Soccer player and Olympic gold medalist who is living with lupus; Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); James C. Greenwood, President and CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO); Carol Ann Petren, Member, LFA National Board of Directors and Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc; and Katherine A. Ruffatto, Lupus Foundation of America Ambassador. With more than 120 members, the LFA’s Honorary Congressional Committee is co-chaired by U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby (AL) and Dr. Annette Shelby and U.S. Representative John D. Dingell (MI), and Mrs. Debbie Dingell.

The LFA’s National Butterfly Gala generates critical funding to help advance the LFA’s mission of improving the quality of life for the estimated 1.5 million Americans living with lupus.

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