Scott Santarella’s speech from the gala highlights GLA’s mission and some notable accomplishments in the past 12 months
Good evening. I am Scott Santarella, CEO of the Global Lyme Alliance. It’s an honor to be here tonight with all of you. To those of you who are back once again, thank you for your continued support. For those who are new, welcome to Team GLA.
A year ago, I introduced myself as the new CEO of Global Lyme Alliance and talked about the injustice associated with Lyme disease—the lack of disease awareness, inadequate diagnostics and limited treatment options for patients—all of which, we agree, are completely unacceptable!
I also shared with guests the responsibility we all share to do something when we see inequities in society, especially as it related to underfunded, underserved, and often stigmatized diseases.
And most unequivocally when the health of children and families are at risk, of which, all these, Lyme disease is very much guilty.
As we promised, and thanks in part to your support, GLA has been busy putting our words into action.
Over the last 12 months we have been tackling the injustices associated with Lyme disease with great success and measurable impact, best described by these numbers:
From 2 to 11
The number of countries from which GLA receives donor support, evidence our impact is worldwide.
From 22 to 50
The number of states, yes, all 50, from which GLA receives donations, proof positive Lyme is everywhere.
From a few hundred to 12,000
The number of elementary and secondary school teachers across the U.S. that have been given direct access, free of charge, to our Lyme disease prevention and education curriculum, further evidence of the need to educate nationally.
From 40,000 to 100,000
The number of children and families GLA has helped become tick and Lyme aware through our summer camp program offered at 56 summer camps in seven states and growing.
From $1 million to $2 million
The amount of grant dollars, since January 2017, GLA has committed to scientists focused on researching new ways to combat this disease.
From 2 million to 20 million
The number of media impressions GLA has had over the last 12 months through our social media platforms, educational programming, and awareness outreach efforts.
No doubt, we are all in this together … GLA is just getting started …
Recently, we hired a Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Tim Sellati, who brings to GLA and our research-based mission 25 plus years experience in Lyme research, extensive disease knowledge and a track record of building bridges among scientists, clinicians, industry and government.
We held a successful fundraising event in Chicago in August which will become an annual event, and we have our sights set on major events in Texas, California, and Florida to further our national impact.
Lastly, we received more than 30 research grant applications this year … an indication of interest among the research community to help us solve the challenge of Lyme disease and reinforcing the need for resources to support their efforts.
This is the moment … now is the time to invest in GLA and our mission!
We have the leadership of our Board of Directors to set the strategic plan.
We have the commitment and dedication of our staff and volunteers to enact change.
And … we are all driven by a passion to erase the injustice for those suffering from Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses.
Together we will shift the paradigm of this disease from uncertainty, misunderstanding, and helplessness … to clarity, comprehension, and hopefulness … on a pathway toward a cure. Thank you for joining us, thank you for your support, and thank you for being part of Team GLA.