Honoring Long-Time Supporter, Helen Z. Hansen


Honoring Long-Time Supporter, Helen Z. Hansen

Sadly, the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) lost a dear friend and supporter last Saturday when Helen passed away. She served over 22 years on the Arthritis National Research Foundation Board of Directors, devoting her time, expertise and resources to helping ANRF grow. To memorialize Helen’s contribution, one of this year’s research scientists will have the additional honor of being named, “The Helen Z. Hansen Memorial Scholar.”

“Serving” on ANRF’s board is an understatement for her dedication to and support for arthritis research. Helen helped guide ANRF from a Long Beach, California-based organization to a top national funding organization for cutting edge arthritis research.

“Mom greatly enjoyed her work with and commitment to Arthritis National Research Foundation, and was so proud of the organization’s impact on society,” said Helen’s daughter, Peri.

Her sense of fairness, decency, ability to see the big picture and ANRF’s place in the world were demonstrated when Helen assumed the role of president of the board of directors for two years. Afterwards, she continued to serve the board in many capacities – fund raising, budget oversight, and special event support – with the clear goal of moving ANRF forward in a careful, measured way designed to benefit the most people suffering with arthritis. She utilized her unmatched skills of attention to detail and insight to people of all ages and walks of life to maximize her contribution in every task she undertook. It was never a surprise to pick up the newspaper and read about another of Helen’s contributions to the community.

Regardless of the demands on her time, Helen always made time for you as an individual and the ANRF’s requests — with good humor and wisdom. Helen Hansen was a woman with a brilliant mind and a loving and giving heart. She was a successful educator and administrator who loved of her family, her city and fellow man and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place to live. Many people talk about helping, Helen rolled up her sleeves and got down to work.

All of Helen’s friends associated with the Arthritis National Research Foundation will miss her smile and her presence. Fare well, dear friend.

The Helen Z. Hansen Memorial Scholar is a second-year ANRF grant recipient, Junxia Wang, MD, PhD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate in Boston. Dr. Wang is working on a new target for therapy in inflammatory arthritis.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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