Peggy Lillis Foundation to Convene First-Ever Summit on Clostridium difficile Infections, A Top Public-Health Threat Facing U.S.

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Advocates for Awareness, Prevention of Deadly C. Diff Epidemic Will Gather in New York

Developing this team is integral to the foundation’s strategy of building a movement that will end the threat of C. diff.

What: Summit on fighting C. diff epidemic identified by CDC as top public-health threat in U.S.

Who: Advocates for prevention and proven strategies to stop infection that kills 29,000 yearly.

When: Friday and Saturday, August 21 and 22

Where: 25 Broadway, Lower Manhattan, New York

For the first time ever, Americans touched by Clostridium difficile infections will come together with top scientists and public-health leaders to hone their skills in stopping the disease that hits nearly 500,000 Americans every year.

Over two days, the Peggy Lillis Foundation will provide training to survivors and family members of the disease.

“Our summit brings together ordinary men and women from across America committed to educating, advocating, and shaping policy,” says Christian John Lillis, executive director of the Peggy Lillis Foundation. “Developing this team is integral to the foundation’s strategy of building a movement that will end the threat of C. diff.”

Advocates will gain information from representatives of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and Seres Therapeutics, and guidance from top consumer, public-health, and clinical researchers on C. diff., such as Dr. Julie Reagan, Dr. Gerard Honig, Klaus Gottlieb, and Catherine Duff.

Peggy Lillis Foundation is named for a single-parent mom and kindergarten teacher who lost her life to a C. diff infection in April 2010. Now in its 5th year, the foundation has become the most-consulted source for patient-focused information on C. diff prevention in the nation. C. diff kills more than 29,000 Americans each year, rivaling gun violence and traffic deaths in fatalities.

Since 2013, the CDC has ranked C. diff. as an urgent threat to public health. This spring, the foundation joined the CDC in its announcement of an upward revision in the estimate of annual deaths from the disease. C. diff infections are largely preventable and associated with healthcare settings and with use of antibiotics, some of which kill bacteria in the human gut that might ordinarily keep the C. diff bacteria in check.

This month, the foundation’s work is featured in Consumer Reports’ cover story “How to Stop a Superbug.” In June, the foundation took part in President Obama’s Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship.

The Summit is generously sponsored by Cepheid, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Seres Therapeutics and Synthetic Biologics.

PLF is joined by content partners Alliance for Aging Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consumers Union Safe Patient Project, The Fecal Transplant Foundation, Infectious Disease Society of America, Mothers Against Medical Errors, Nile's Project, Progressive Victory, PULSE of New York, Sanofi Pasteur, Symbiotic Health, and Tonic Media.

The Peggy Lillis Foundation is building a nationwide C. diff Awareness Movement by educating the public, empowering advocates and shaping policy.

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Christian John Lillis

Laurel Ahrnsbrak
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