Public Education & Awareness
Since our inception in 1991, IFFGD has helped thousands of people through our toll-free call center, providing information, assistance, and support.
We publish a magazine, Digestive Health Matters, that covers different areas of gastrointestinal health in adults and children with up-to-date information on recognizing, diagnosing, treating, and living with the disorders. The information is reliable and understandable by lay readers, while being authoritative for medical professionals. Distribution has been to members, physicians, regulators, investigators, and the general public in 129 countries throughout the world.
We maintain a unique library of our own publications and fact sheets that contains over two hundred articles with information on a range of topics available to help individuals or the families of those affected by GI disorders.
We have been active in Washington, DC making the needs of all those affected by functional GI and motility disorders known to members of congress and to funders an regulators at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn about those activities, and how you can participate, on our Digestive Health Alliance (DHA) website.
- IFFGD produces and publishes Participate magazine, the first patient publication on functional GI and motility disorders.
- IFFGD creates the first Call Center about functional GI and motility disorders.
- IFFGD creates first patient physician-delivered education curriculum for the public on IBS and on loss of bowel control.
- IFFGD publishes first physician Education Guide on functional GI disorders incorporating the Rome Criteria - for physician-delivered community education programs.
- IFFGD organizes and hosts the first professional symposium on functional GI disorders: the International Symposium on Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
IFFGD posted the first web site for functional GI disorders: www.iffgd.org.
We have added other web sites for specific conditions:
IFFGD web sites provide reliable health information and general guidance.
IFFGD designated the month of April as IBS Awareness Month, and it is listed on the U.S. National Health Observances calendar. During this time we work to focus extra attention on important health messages about IBS diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life issues.
- IFFGD designated one week in November as GERD Awareness Week, which is also listed on the U.S. National Health Observances calendar. During this time we work to focus extra attention on important health messages about GERD.
- IFFGD produced the first Public Service Announcement (PSA) about irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that was ever televised in the USA.
- IFFGD produced GERD in the Workplace, a "toolkit" that provides corporate wellness managers or human resource managers the information they need to educate their employees about the signs, symptoms, and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Nancy J. Norton, President of IFFGD presented verbal testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies recommending increased funding support in fiscal year 2003 to the NIH.
- IFFGD conducted and published IBS in the Real World survey findings; and IFFGD initiated IBS: A Call to Action, which resulted in thousands of faxes, letters, and e-mails to members of the U.S. Congress and the Food and Drug Administration explaining the impact of IBS on sufferers and requesting clarification regarding standards for assessing the burden of illness for chronic and debilitating conditions and their application to IBS.
- IFFGD creates the Reporter's Guide to Irritable Bowel Syndrme and distributes it to medical and health reporters.
- IFFGD presented testimony to the House Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies in support of fiscal year 2005 funding through the NIH for functional gastrointestinal and motility disease research including development of a strategic plan setting research goals on IBS and functional bowel diseases and disorders, development of standardized scales to measure incontinence severity and quality of life and to develop strategies for primary prevention of fecal incontinence associated with childbirth, and providing funding for more research on the causes of esophageal cancer.
- IFFGD submitted written testimony to both the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2006 funding of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorder research.
- IFFGD submitted written testimony to both the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2007 funding of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorder research.
- IFFGD submitted written and verbal testimony to the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittees on Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2008 funding of functional gastrointestinal and motility disorder research.
- IFFGD, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina Center for Functional GI and Motility Disorders, begins a comprehensive online survey of persons with IBS; IBS Patients: Their Illness Experience and Unmet Needs.
- IFFGD helps plan and participates in an NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on prevention of incontinence in adults.
- IFFGD presents oral testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies regarding fiscal year 2008 funding for functional GI and motility disorder research.
- IFFGD drafts and proposes the IBS research and Treatment Act, seeking congressional support.
- IFFGD creates the Reporter's Guide to Bowel Incontinence and distributes it to medical and health reporters.
- IFFGD publishes the initial report of the survey on IBS Patients: Their Illness Experience and Unmet Needs.
- IFFGD creates the Reporter's Guide to Functional GI Disorders and distributes it to medical and health reporters.
- IFFGD drafts and proposes the Functional GI and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act.
- The Functional GI and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 2239).
- IFFGD creates a grassroots arm, the Digestive Health Alliance, and launches a new website at www.dha.org.
- IFFGD is invited to appear and provides testimony to the U.S. Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee about the impact of functional GI and motility disorders on veterans and the needs for research funding.
IFFGD provided oral testimony regarding Fiscal Year 2013 appropriations for the Department of Defense (DOD) Gulf War Illness Research Program to the U.S Senate Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee On Defense.
IFFGD organized the 2012 DHA Advocacy Day on June 19–20, 2012 in Washington, DC. where advocates from across the country gathered to educate Members of Congress about the needs of the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIMDs) community.
The Functional GI and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act is re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 842).
IFFGD organized the 2013 DHA Advocacy Day on June 18–19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Advocates from across the country again gathered to educate Members of Congress about the needs of the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIMDs) community.