PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness today announced that the foundation has changed its name to Beyond Celiac. The new name and brand, unveiled through its updated website at www.beyondceliac.org, reflect the evolution of the organization from its early focus on awareness to its expanded role today in increasing the rate of diagnosis, improving care for the community and expanding research of new treatments, ultimately to find a cure for celiac disease by 2025.
"For the past decade, our primary goal was to increase awareness to ensure the undiagnosed could receive an accurate diagnosis and reclaim their lives and health," said Alice Bast, President and CEO of Beyond Celiac. "As we listened to the community, it was clear their unmet needs extend far beyond raising awareness. By changing our name to Beyond Celiac, we're emphasizing the evolution of our programs, services and mission to ensure that celiac disease is known as a serious, genetic autoimmune disease needing an early diagnosis and better treatment options."
Data from a survey of 2,850 community members recently conducted by the organization validated the need for expanded focus and services. Most importantly, despite diagnosis, one third of the respondents have not been under the care of a physician for celiac disease in the past five years, and nearly sixty percent of these people struggle with at least one other autoimmune disease in addition to celiac disease. A thorough analysis of the survey data and needs of people with celiac disease will be submitted for publication in 2016.
The name Beyond Celiac was chosen to embody the spirit of the community and inspire hope and passion for living well despite having a serious genetic autoimmune disease. Beyond Celiac intends to move beyond the acceptance of lifestyle and diet as treatment and move forward toward advancing research for innovative, groundbreaking medicines.
Beyond Celiac is committed to connecting the patient and caregiver community with researchers, clinicians and other stakeholders to incite further study and understanding of celiac disease. The organization strives to provide valuable resources to the community to help those with celiac disease live life to the fullest. Based on community need, the organization's mission has expanded to include:
- Advocacy for collaborative research toward a cure in the next ten years
- Advanced understanding of the seriousness of celiac disease and its implications for other autoimmune diseases
- Access to and confidence in safe medicines, food and dining options
- Availability of trusted information and educational programs to support the community, from those with celiac disease and their families to regulatory agencies and the food manufacturing and foodservice industries
"Beyond Celiac will help our community live better, longer in the next several years," said Bast. "Together, as a community for a cure, we can go beyond."
About Beyond Celiac
Beyond Celiac, formerly known as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is a leading international advocacy organization committed to improving awareness and understanding of celiac disease as a serious genetic autoimmune disease; accelerating innovation to support those with celiac disease to live life to the fullest; and forging pathways to a cure. We aim to inspire hope, build a strong community and serve as a trusted resource on celiac disease. For more information, please visit www.beyondceliac.org.
SOURCE Beyond Celiac