Executive Director Report FY 2011

Jean Pickford, Executive Director

To all our wonderful members, family and friends,
 
You may already know that FIRST is a very fortunate organization. Over 30 years ago, the founders had a vision—to create a network of affected families to help each other by providing emotional and practical support, along with a network of caring physicians who would help FIRST’s members as they journeyed down the medical path of treating ichthyosis.
 
Three decades later, those goals have been achieved and surpassed! FIRST proudly has grown to a vibrant, solvent, and well-respected patient advocacy organization in the world of skin diseases. Our membership of affected individuals and their families is who we serve. Friends, relatives, physicians, teachers, healthcare professionals, businesses, and many others are all those who care to make a difference. Our success is the direct result of the generosity of everyone, who invests their time, expertise, and financial support in an organization that stewards their donations for the best possible purpose.
 
FIRST is governed by a 16-member Board of Directors. We are guided by a Medical & Scientific Advisory Board, comprised of 29 dermatologists, investigators and geneticists who specialize in the care, treatment, and science of ichthyosis. Our exemplary leadership is all voluntary, which speaks volumes about their level of commitment and respect for FIRST.  
 
A few months ago, the leaders of FIRST met to review our progress and determine our future steps for the next three years. We re-affirmed our mission of educating, inspiring, and connecting those touched by ichthyosis and related disorders through emotional support, information, advocacy, and research funding for better treatments and eventual cures.  We also renewed our commitment to the core values that guide our business: 
 
Compassion – We are a caring organization recognizing the unique challenges faced by ourcommunity and will provide support with kindness and empathy.

Hope – While celebrating today’s strengths and successes, we strive to convey that the future will be filled with friendship, support and cures.

Integrity –We will conduct ourselves in a trustworthy, ethical, and reliable manner in everything we do and say.

Responsiveness –We provide accurate and timely information to meet the medical, social and educational needs of our community.
 
In the world of rare diseases, know that FIRST is working hard to make a difference for all those affected with ichthyosis or a related skin type.  We are grateful to everyone who supports our important work. We are grateful to those who study these diseases to find a cure. We are sincerely grateful to be able to continue our mission and improve our members’ live every day.
 
Educate, inspire, and connect,
 
Jean R. Pickford
Executive Director

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