Pfizer Brings New Programs and Resources to the Gaucher Community!
2013 has been an exciting year for the Gaucher community and Pfizer. Pfizer has been working to raise awareness of Gaucher disease and provide support for those impacted by this condition.
To kick off Gaucher Awareness Month, celebrated in October, Pfizer proudly helped sponsor the 2nd Annual National Gaucher Foundation “Go for Gaucher” 5K Walk/Run in Decatur, Georgia on September 29. “Go for Gaucher” continues to generate awareness for Gaucher via word of mouth and social media and Pfizer is proud to be a part of such an important event.
Also in October, Pfizer expanded its extensive patient support program – Gaucher Personal Support (GPS) – by launching a new component called Mentor Connect. Mentor Connect gives patients the opportunity to connect one-on-one with other people living with Type 1 Gaucher disease. Patients can now confidentially discuss with a GPS Patient Ambassador a wide range of topics, from experience with Gaucher disease, to insurance/reimbursement challenges, to daily struggles and successes. Pfizer’s aim is that this network provides the resources necessary to help patients navigate their treatment, as well as an opportunity to learn from others’ experiences and shared journey.
In August, Pfizer partnered with the Victor Center for the Prevention of Jewish Genetic Diseases to engage rabbis in the first-ever nationwide initiative to help educate about the 19 most common genetic diseases affecting the Jewish population, including Gaucher disease. As part of this program, called Screen for Nineteen, resource kits were distributed to 3,000 synagogues in the U.S. The kits included tips and talking points on how clergy can educate their congregants, pocket cards on screening for young couples, a step-by-step guide to help navigate the screening process, and information about “Gene Screen” – the first app for Jewish genetic diseases. Visit www.victorcenters.org to learn more about this program.
In June, Pfizer joined the Russian American Foundation and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in celebrating the 11th Annual Russian Heritage Month®, a U.S.-based cultural community-awareness event. In the U.S., there are approximately 800,000 Russian Americans and many are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, a population that is at higher risk for Gaucher disease. At the Russian Heritage Month Festival in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY, thousands of attendees stopped by the Pfizer booth to learn more about Gaucher disease and what it’s like to live with the condition. The New York Post covered this exciting event and printed a story featuring a GPS Patient Ambassador and an expert from Pfizer.
“Here at Pfizer, we are committed to improving the lives of patients with Gaucher disease,” said William Kennally, President, North America, Established Products, Pfizer. “To honor that commitment, we developed and participated in several programs that aim to provide support and education those who need it.”
Lastly, for health care professionals, Pfizer collaborated with the National Organization for Rare Disorders’ (NORD) to create a new online Physician’s Guide to Gaucher Disease to encourage early diagnosis and treatment of patients with the condition. The Guide can be found at www.nordphysicianguides.org.
Pfizer looks forward to continuing its work with the Gaucher community to raise awareness and provide valuable resources for those in need. To learn more about these initiatives please reach out to Mariah Kelly, RN, Pfizer’s Patient Affairs Liaison, via phone at 1-212-733-8751 or e-mail at GaucherPatientAffairs@pfizer.com.