The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (CCF) is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases. Founded by Shelby Modell and Irwin M. Rosenthal, and formerly known as National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis and Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, it was incorporated on December 17, 1965. CCF has more than 50,000 members, served by the national headquarters, as well as over 40 chapters nationwide.
Research, educational workshops and symposia, together with the CCF scientific journal, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, enable medical professionals to keep pace with this rapidly growing field. The National Institutes of Health has commended CCF for "uniting the research community and strengthening IBD research." CCF ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to mission-critical programs, with nearly 80 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends going toward medical research, professional education, and patient support.
Four decades ago, CCF created the field of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis research. CCF funds studies at medical institutions, nurtures investigators at the early stages of their careers, and finances underdeveloped areas of research to find the causes of and cures for Crohn’s and colitis. CCF has provided more than $150 million for Crohn's and colitis research to date.
CCF offers literature and patient support services nationally as well as through its forty regional chapters. CCF provides information and education for the 1.4 million Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients and their families through a variety of periodicals (Take Charge, Under the Microscope ), books, awareness campaigns, local chapter events, Webcasts, and through its web site. Due to its extensive public awareness and outreach efforts, the Foundation reaches at least one out of every 18 patients, compared to the Arthritis Foundation, with one out of every 85, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, with one out of every 435.
Advocacy is a major component of CCF's mission. Its advocates are not only patients, but family members, friends, caregivers, and doctors who want to make their voices heard and see a future free from Crohn's and colitis. Foundation advocates call for increased Federal funding for Crohn's and colitis research and awareness programs designed to improve the lives of patients. The Foundation encourages its members, volunteers, and friends to become actively involved in advancing its public policy goals.
CCF designated the week of December 1–7 as Crohn's and Colitis Awareness Week in order to encourage all Americans to join in the effort to find cures for these diseases, help raise awareness and support research.
CCF primarily relies on the support of members and donors to continue its work. CCF raises critical dollars through its local and nationwide special events, spearheaded by its national Team Challenge and Take Steps programs.
Team Challenge is the Foundation's endurance training and fundraising program, which prepares participants to run or walk a half marathon, take part in a cycling event, or experience a sprint triathlon while raising money for a cure.
Take Steps, CCF's largest fundraising event, mobilizes participants in over 150 local communities across the nation to come together and walk for Crohn’s and colitis research.
CCF received $3,042,350 of grants from the United States Department of Health and Human Services between 2008 and 2015.
Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America established the Great Comebacks Awards in 1984 in order to recognize individuals who have triumphed over inflammatory bowel disease. In 1991, the award was given to Dr. P. Kent Cullen, a colon surgeon who has ulcerative colitis and has undergone multiple ostomy surgeries.