As many of you know, this fall, Jessie Gruman, CFAH Founder and President, was diagnosed with stomach cancer, her fourth cancer-related diagnosis. We have all been touched and gratified by good wishes for her and CFAH from around the world.
In a remarkable testament to the importance of our work, in November Jessie received a personal letter from Oprah Winfrey, acknowledging her extraordinary commitment and contributions to helping Americans when they face a devastating diagnosis. During Jessie's treatment and recovery she continued to offer valuable insights and assistance to others through essays and blogs chronicling her latest health challenges. Ms. Winfrey's gracious, unsolicited recognition is very kind and shows that CFAH's message has reached beyond policymakers and providers and is producing real, meaningful change.
We also continue to make great strides toward advancing our mission of ensuring that Americans have evidence-based guidance that helps them make good decisions and take effective actions to benefit from their health care:
In April, we launched this interactive website Prepared Patient Forum, designed to help individuals find good health care and make the most of it. It is gaining in popularity daily.
The Health Behavior News Service, which disseminates news stories to journalists worldwide on the latest findings from peer-reviewed research journals, increased the number of stories it produces and expanded its reach this year by 30%.
CFAH released a widely cited national study showing that only one-third of American adults take the actions required to benefit from the health are available to them, demonstrating how our attitudes and behaviors must change if we are going to fully capture the value of the exciting advances in medicine.
Walker Publishing released the second edition of CFAH President Jessie Gruman's book AfterShock: What to do When Your Doctor Gives You ' or Someone You Love ' a Devastating Diagnosis.
Bright days lie ahead for CFAH. Jessie will resume full-time work in January. Successful fund-raising ensures that we will maintain a high level of activity and visibility in the coming year. CFAH will continue to advocate for public and private policies and practices that support the active, effective participation by individuals in their care.
Jessie Gruman and the CFAH staff join me in sending you best wishes for a healthy, happy, and productive 2011!
Douglas B. Kamerow, MD
CFAH Board Chair