The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has announced the creation of the ASH Foundation dedicated to curing blood diseases. The new foundation will complement and build on the work of the Society by harnessing the generosity of donors to expand the reach of successful ASH programs and develop new initiatives to address critical issues facing hematology researchers and clinicians.
Through contributions from ASH members and supporters, the ASH Foundation will support a spectrum of new or enhanced ASH programming in three broad categories, including research, career development, and quality care and education, such as ASH’s new Bridge Grants, as well as ASH’s Scholar Awards, Global Programs, Clinical Research Training Institute, and Minority Recruitment Initiative. Because ASH covers all management and administrative costs for programs supported by the Foundation, 100% of donations will be allocated toward direct program expenses. Sustaining donor support for such programs is imperative for ASH to continue to move hematology forward, particularly during the current period of steadily declining federal support for hematology research through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The ASH Foundation was created to ensure that there will be a new generation of hematology physicians and scientists to continue to build on the enormous progress that has been made in understanding the etiology of some of the most deadly blood diseases, and to develop new strategies for their prevention and treatment,” said ASH President Armand Keating, MD, of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto.
Bridge Grant Program
Donors have the option of designating their gifts to support a specific programmatic area or contributing to the “Where Our Need is Greatest” fund, which will be directed toward ASH-identified programs that address the most pressing priorities and key issues facing the hematology community at any given time. The first initiative to be supported by this fund is the ASH Bridge Grant Program, launched in July 2012 by the Society to provide early-career hematologists who applied for an NIH R01 grant but were denied funding due to budget cutbacks with much-needed support needed to continue their research.
The ASH leadership has pledged $9 million in Society dollars to support the establishment of the ASH Bridge Grant Program through the ASH Foundation. Additional founding sponsors of the ASH Bridge Grant Program include Amgen, Inc; the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau; Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company; and Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ■