A Special Message From ANRF Board of Directors Chair, Debra Sampson

Board of Directors Chair, Debra Sampson

A Special Message From ANRF Board of Directors Chair, Debra Sampson

Dear Partner,

In 2018, I was privileged to be elected Chair of the Board of Directors of ANRF. One of our core functions at the Foundation is to select for funding, through a highly competitive review process, research proposals submitted by some of the brightest minds in the fields of Arthritis, Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases. This support enables awardees to conduct innovative studies that push the boundaries of science and medicine through new discoveries and groundbreaking results. Importantly, our grantees are invariably young investigators at the formative stages in their careers. As such, ANRF support is very important to their productivity – it accelerates not only their professional growth but also shapes their outlook as future leaders in their fields.

The quality of our research program is matched by an unwavering commitment for transparency and good governance at ANRF. On our board, we are extremely fortunate to have consummate professionals from various disciplines volunteering their time and expertise in the service of the Foundation. Collectively, our Board oversight – performed through frequent board meetings as well as specialized committee functions – ensures timely and accurate reporting as well as excellent fiduciary management throughout the organization. Recent work by various committees includes revising the bylaws, updating our investment policy and institutionalizing a series of system-wide changes. These changes have been designed to give us the flexibility needed to execute and expand our functions effectively, while simultaneously performing our duties with the highest ethical and transparency standards. To date, we are thrilled to have maintained a four star charity navigator rating for 10 years in a row.

This year was also a year of conspicuous gains and losses at the Foundation with new beginnings and difficult goodbyes. We welcomed Dr. Nahle as the new CEO, an outstanding Harvard educated leader who is taking the Foundation methodically to new heights. Sadly, we also endured the sudden departure of Dr. Morrie Granger, a giant who left an indelible mark on ANRF and transformed the Foundation to what it is today. Morrie is credited, among other things, with assembling a world-class Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) that continues to provide great depth to our work as well as the skill to select the most meritorious research grants every year.

Going forward, we are committed to using all the different instruments and tools at our disposal to further the growth of our Foundation. We will fill severe knowledge gaps, invest in innovative ideas, partner with patients for solutions, facilitate meaningful collaborations, create reliable sources with trusted research information, participate in and lead conferences and think tanks, advance medical education, spread much needed awareness about the disease, and work constructively with stakeholders and partner organizations towards better understanding Arthritis and associated Rheumatic and Autoimmune Diseases, joining forces whenever possible.

In this holiday season, I wish the best to you and to your family. I hope that we can continue to count on your generosity and support in this unprecedented phase of growth at ANRF.





Debra Sampson
Board of Directors Chair

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Debra Sampson
Article Author
Debra Sampson

Debra Sampson is the Chair of the Arthritis National Research Foundation Board of Directors. She knows many who suffers from some form of arthritis or autoimmune disease, including herself as she suffers from Uveitis. Arthritis affects millions of people and she hopes to make a difference towards finding a cure through research.

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