NORD to honor COPD Foundation president with lifetime achievement award

April 04, 2014

John W. Walsh, COPD Foundation president and co-founder, will be honored with a lifetime achievement award by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) this May. The award will be given at its “Portraits of Courage” celebration in Washington, DC.

Walsh will be the first recipient of this lifetime achievement award since Abbey Meyers, who founded NORD in 1983 after passage of the Orphan Drug Act, and served as the organization’s president until 2007.

NORD’s annual event, to be held May 8 at the National Building Museum, is expected to draw about 500 medical clinicians and researchers, patients and patient advocates, and individuals from government, academia and the pharmaceutical industry — but anyone with an interest in rare diseases and orphan products is welcome to attend.

“We’ll be highlighting the stories of patients and families who live with rare diseases and display great courage in the face of enormous challenges,” said NORD President and CEO Peter Saltonstall. “We look forward to honoring those who have driven major advances in public policy and scientific achievement over the past year while also celebrating the spirit of the rare disease community.”

In addition to Walsh, NORD will honor U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan for their ongoing support of rare disease research and, in particular, their support for the National Pediatric Research Network Act of 2013, which authorizes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish a network of pediatric research consortia to study devastating childhood diseases.