Seattle Entrepreneur Receives Inspiration Award for Relentless Commitment to Curing Brain Condition

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Paul Gross received the Vision Award for Inspiration by the Hydrocephalus Association for his work to stimulate research to find a cure for a condition that affects 1 million Americans.

Paul Gross Hydrocephalus Association BOD Member

Paul Gross, Seattle business entrepreneur and philanthropist, received the Vision Award for Inspiration at the first annual Hydrocephalus Association Vision Dinner which took place on October 10, 2013, in New York City. The event entitled, "A Time for Awareness. The Hope for a Cure," brought together politicians, neurosurgeons, scientists, advocates, and business leaders at a special evening to raise the public profile of an incurable brain condition that can affect anyone at any stage of life. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain. There is no cure and the only treatment option requires brain surgery. The prevalent treatment is the implantation of a shunt, a medical device developed over 50 years ago that has a high failure rate, relegating patients to a lifetime of brain surgery.

The Inspiration Award honors Gross’ tireless commitment to find better treatment options and a cure for hydrocephalus. Gross has played a critical role in the design and development of the Hydrocephalus Association’s (HA) research initiative, devoting time and securing significant resources to advance this work. He and his wife, Lori Poliski, who have two children – one with hydrocephalus – co-founded the Hydrocephalus Support Group and the Hydrocephalus Research Guild in Seattle. The groups support children and raise funds for hydrocephalus studies at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Institute. Gross is one of 18 members of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Advisory Council which helps set the strategy for the largest investor in brain science. He is also an advisory board member for the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network, which he co-founded with Dr. John Kestle of The University of British Columbia, Canada. Gross launched PH144 Ventures in Woodinville, Washington, a management and technology consulting firm that strives to enhance existing shunt technology.

The First Annual Vision Dinner was hosted by Craig and Vicki Brown, major benefactors of the Hydrocephalus Association. Dr. Benjamin Warf, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, served as the keynote speaker. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and NY State Senator John J. Flanagan praised the event’s focus on empowering the latest research around better treatment options and a cure for those living with hydrocephalus.

"We are very thankful to be able to increase awareness of this under-represented condition and to bring attention to the many families that are living with its challenges. We hope this special evening results in greater knowledge of the Hydrocephalus Association’s progress in both treatment protocols and research, and will serve to inspire others to join us on our journey to increase investments in hydrocephalus research that will lead to a cure," stated Vicki Brown, who has a son with hydrocephalus.

The event was held at the Apella Alexandria Conference Center located within the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City. For more information about the event or about hydrocephalus, please contact visiondinner2013(at)hydroassoc(dot)org.

About the Hydrocephalus Association
The Hydrocephalus Association (HA) is a charitable organization dedicated to eliminating the challenges of hydrocephalus by stimulating research and supporting people who are affected by this condition. Incorporated as a non-profit in 1986, HA is now the nation’s largest and most widely respected organization dedicated solely to serving those affected by hydrocephalus. HA has been instrumental in creating a community of individuals, families and health care professionals addressing the complexities of hydrocephalus in all age groups.

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Amanda Garzon
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