The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation – Vision to Visionary

For over 50 years, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation has made a positive impact with IBD research funding, education, support, and advocacy.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation – Vision to Visionary

Learn how the Foundation helps those with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The mission of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of the life of children and adults affected by these diseases. Prior to the founding of this organization, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) was not well understood, and there was very little research conducted on its causes and treatments.

Visualizing a Future Without Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

In 1956, Suzanne Rosenthal came down with debilitating symptoms and, after being misdiagnosed for years, was finally diagnosed with ileo-colitis. Her husband Irwin became overwhelmed with frustration that there was no known cure for Suzanne’s illness and no efforts to find one. In 1967, he joined forces with Dr. Henry Janowitz, Suzanne’s gastroenterologist, and William Modell, a fellow businessman whose son was suffering from the same disease, to form the Foundation for Research in Ileitis (now known as the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation).

The non-profit organization began raising money and awarded its first grant to Dr. Daniel Present, a young researcher and clinician, to work on a comprehensive study of regional enteritis (another name for Crohn’s disease). In the years that followed, the organization’s research portfolio grew significantly.

How the Foundation is Making its Vision a Reality

To date, the Foundation has funded more than $400 million into the causes, treatments, and cures of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It currently has 40 chapters and more than 500 volunteer leaders, covering all 50 states. It serves patients, families, and caregivers in a wide variety of ways, including:

  • Ongoing IBD Research
    Research sponsored by the Foundation has led to breakthrough discoveries about how genetics and the human microbiome play in IBD onset and progression. The Foundation continues to strengthen their research to help quickly develop treatments and cures for IBD.
  • Education and Support Resources
    The Foundation offers webcasts, support groups, IBD Help Center, and printed materials with the latest educational information and assistance for those living with IBD and their caregivers.
  • Advocacy Efforts
    Foundation advocates such as patients, caregivers, supporters, researchers, and healthcare providers share their stories to advance the organization’s public policy goals, including improved access to insurance and medication, as well as research funding.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
    The Foundation is committed to working with the healthcare community to confront systemic racism and support communities of color. These efforts include a research partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a collaboration with Pfizer, an American multinational pharmaceutical company.
  • Fundraising Opportunities
    Apart from direct monetary donations, people living with IBD and the larger community can attend community-building events that help fund critical research, education, and advocacy efforts.

Rising from humble beginnings to become a national foundation serving 1.2 million patients, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation remains committed to improving disease remission rates, increasing access to care, and advancing new therapies and innovative products.

Want to get involved or learn more? Visit