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Helmsley Charitable Trust Announces Support for Health Advocacy Summit and Its Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network

As part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week,  The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced a $60,000 grant to the Health Advocacy Summit (HAS) and its Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network, a youth-led nonprofit organization that supports and equips young adults living with invisible illnesses, such as Crohn’s disease, with the skills to manage these debilitating and often misdiagnosed diseases.

With Helmsley funding, HAS will host five two-day convenings across the country in 2020 bringing together young people to discuss how to navigate complex healthcare systems, insurance, mental health, and health policy, and most importantly to actively promote their health. Growing up with a chronic illness such as Crohn’s disease and transitioning to adulthood can pose unique challenges in navigating many aspects of the healthcare system, such as insurance, going from school to the workplace, and managing other psychosocial implications. HAS is the first organization created by young adults to empower, connect, and support others through in-person support and yearlong programming. HAS is taking the first step to facilitate conversations around health literacy and taking charge of one’s own health. HAS is led entirely by young adults with chronic and rare illnesses and was created by Sneha Dave, a college student and patient living with ulcerative colitis since age six.

“As the next generation of advocates, we could not be more grateful for the support of the Helmsley Charitable Trust to train, empower, and connect young patients who are the face of healthcare,” said Sneha Dave, founder and executive director of Health Advocacy Summit. “We are thankful to Helmsley for believing in the importance of supporting young patients who are facing life-altering conditions like Crohn’s disease.”

“The Helmsley Charitable Trust is committed to helping the young adult Crohn’s disease patient community access the resources they need to manage their disease,” said Pretima Persad of the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Crohn’s Disease Program. “Health Advocacy Summit is filling an important gap for patients by equipping young adults with key tools and information to navigate their disease and live a healthy life.”

Helmsley’s support will allow HAS to expand and facilitate more summits for young adults with chronic and rare illnesses and the international fellowship program for young adults with inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease.

About Health Advocacy Summit 

Health Advocacy Summit (HAS) is a nonprofit organization that works to empower and connect young adults with chronic and rare diseases. HAS is currently operating in several states across the U.S., and its program Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network facilitates a fellowship program to train the next generation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease advocates. For more information, please visit healthadvocacysummit.org and ccyanetwork.org.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust 

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning its active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2.5 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Crohn’s Disease Program supports impactful ideas and mobilizes a global community committed to improving the lives of Crohn’s disease patients while pursuing a cure. For more information, please visit helmsleytrust.org