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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Jeffrey Modell Foundation Announce Collaboration to Eradicate Polio Worldwide

NEW YORK, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF), a global non-profit organization dedicated to early diagnosis, proper treatment, and public awareness of genetic immune deficiency diseases, known as Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI), today announced a working collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to achieve a common goal to end polio worldwide.

Today, there are the fewest number of polio cases (less than 200[i]) in the fewest districts in the fewest countries in the world.  Since 1988, the total number of polio cases has been reduced by more than 99 percent and polio has been eliminated from 125 countries.

JMF and the Gates Foundation are working together to raise awareness among the patient and physician communities about the global health priority to achieve polio eradication, and to advance scientific research focused on developing better tools that will help ensure we reach eradication as soon as possible.

Through its Jeffrey Modell Centers Network, the Foundation has a clinical research presence consisting of more than 500 physicians at 196 academic teaching hospitals and medical schools in 191 cities and 68 countries, spanning 6 continents.  This network of expert immunologists offers access to immunodeficient patients across a wide range of geographical settings and the opportunity to create new energy in this effort. 

"Right now, the world has the opportunity to change history and end polio forever.  New collaborations like this one are critical to safely reach the goal of polio eradication and maintain a polio-free world," said Jay Wenger, director of the Polio Global Development Program at the Gates Foundation. "The Jeffrey Modell Foundation's work will help ensure that we reach a critical group of doctors and patients in the final push to forever protect children worldwide from polio."

Vicki Modell, Co-Founder of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation, welcomed the collaboration saying, "We are honored and proud to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We believe in their mission, and in the potential for this work to change the lives of so many individuals. We are optimistic and hope to bring our energy and our commitment to this collaboration."

About Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Vicki and Fred Modell established the Jeffrey Modell Foundation in 1987, in memory of their son Jeffrey, who died at the age of fifteen from complications of Primary Immunodeficiency – a genetic condition that is chronic, serious, and often fatal. JMF is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to early diagnosis, meaningful treatments and, ultimately, cures through research, physician education, public awareness, advocacy, patient support, and newborn screening. The Jeffrey Modell Centers Network (JMCN) includes 518 physicians at 196 academic institutions in 191 cities and 68 countries spanning 6 continents. For more information about PI, visit www.info4pi.org or email the Jeffrey Modell Foundation at info4pi@jmfworld.org.

About Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Contacts:
Vicki and Fred Modell, Co-Founders
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Info4pi@jmfworld.org
212-819-0200

RELATED LINKS
Jeffrey Modell Foundation

[i] Global Polio Eradication Initiative http://www.polioeradication.org/Dataandmonitoring/Poliothisweek.aspx

SOURCE Jeffrey Modell Foundation



RELATED LINKS
http://www.info4pi.org

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