Alpha-1 Foundation Co-founder and visionary John W. Walsh has been named a Director Emeritus of the Board of Directors at the February 3, 2017 Board meeting.
“We have now passed the one-year anniversary of the accident January 20, 2016, when John was injured in a fall on an icy street in Washington, DC, and he is no longer playing an active role in the Foundation’s management,” said Foundation Board Chair Gordon W. Cadwgan. “The title of Director Emeritus is a fitting tribute to his crucial role in making the Foundation the success it is today.”
Added President and CEO Henry R. Moehring, who was hand-picked by Walsh as his successor, “The Foundation plans to honor John’s legacy in many ways, the strongest of which is to aggressively move forward with our mission of finding a cure and improving the lives of people affected by Alpha-1 worldwide.”
In 1995, Walsh, Sandy Lindsey and Susan Stanley – all three diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency – co-founded the Alpha-1 Foundation to fund research aimed at finding a cure for the genetic condition.
At the beginning the three founders were the only Board members, with Walsh serving as the Founding Chairman. As the Foundation grew, Walsh became the president and CEO and gave up his Board position. Now the Foundation plans to restore him to the honorary position on the Board.
The Foundation has already announced two research initiatives focused in Walsh’s honor.
The John W. Walsh Translational Medicine Research Award was established through the generosity of Walsh’s longtime friend Mark Brantly, MD, and his wife, Judy Lew, MD, who donated $225,000 to establish the award.
“I’ve known John for more than 30 years,” Brantly said in announcing the donation at last fall’s Alpha-1 Donor Recognition Dinner. “John has always given his heart and soul to making the Foundation successful, and Judy and I believe that the best way to honor and thank him is to help carry on his commitment to a cure through this research award. I am personally interested in funding translational research, which aims to ‘translate’ findings in basic research into medical practice and meaningful health outcomes.”
Moehring noted that, “Mark and Judy have earmarked their gift to establish the John W. Walsh Translational Medicine Research Award as part of the John W. Walsh Research Fund, a broader fund focused on research to find the cure for Alpha-1. Donors can restrict their donations, as Mark and Judy have, or make an unrestricted gift that will be used toward the overall goals of the fund.”
A plaque will be installed in the Foundation’s offices to highlight the John W. Walsh Translational Medicine Research Award and to carry the names of the scientists who become its recipients.
If you would like to donate to the John W. Walsh Research Fund, you can do so online here or call 1 (877) 228-7321.
Alpha-1 Foundation is committed to finding a cure for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency and improving the lives of people with Alpha-1 worldwide.