Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Announces New Executive Director



BETHESDA, MARYLAND — The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation (AAMDSIF), the world's leading non-profit health organization dedicated to serving patients afflicted with bone marrow failure disease, announced today that Neil Horikoshi has been named the Foundation's new Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. Mr. Horikoshi succeeds Kathleen Weis, who resigned from her position to pursue new opportunities.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of AAMDSIF, we wish to thank Kathleen Weis for her service to the Foundation," said Kevin Lyons-Tarr, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of AAMDSIF. "During over three-plus years as the Foundation's CEO and Executive Director, Kathleen has made numerous and major contributions to the Foundation's progress and reputation. She has worked tirelessly, especially in broadening the Foundation's partnerships and visibility with other organizations, managing our relationship with the members of the MDS Clinical Research Consortium and medical community, and raising funds from both established and new pharma, corporate and individual donors. She has maintained the highest ethical standards at the Foundation and in our interactions with patients, funders and physicians. She has always reminded us of the important and central work the Foundation does to help patients and caregivers cope with their diagnosis, treatment and life beyond bone marrow failure diseases. We wish Kathleen well and all the best in her future endeavors. We are grateful to her for the time she spent as part of our AAMDSIF family," said Mr. Lyons-Tarr.

Neil Horikoshi is chairman emeritus of the AAMDSIF Board of Directors and an aplastic anemia patient/survivor. Mr. Horikoshi recently retired as the president and executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund ("APIASF"), an organization he joined in 2008 after a distinguished 30-year career at International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), where he served in a variety of legal and executive management positions in the United States and Asia Pacific. He is an Advisory Council member for both the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS). He also serves on the Board of Governors of the Go for Broke National Education Center and as an Advisory Council Member for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Gates Millennium Scholars Program. Mr. Horikoshi resigned from the AAMDSIF Board of Directors to accept the role of the Foundation's CEO and Executive Director.

ABOUT AAMDSIF: The Aplastic and MDS International Foundation (www.aamds.org) supports, connects and educates patients, caregivers and health professionals on bone marrow failure diseases worldwide. It promotes and invests in collaborative clinical research to accelerate the discovery of better treatments and cures for aplastic anemia, MDS, PNH and related bone marrow failure diseases. A highly-respected patient-focused organization, AAMDSIF’s mission is to serve its community in every cycle of these diseases. That includes providing the vital information and resources needed to adjust to the initial life-altering phase of diagnosis and get through the potentially life-threatening treatment phase that follows. The Foundation then helps patients and families manage the life-long stage of having a chronic disease.The Foundation also does substantive work with health professionals, including being administrator of the MDS Clinical Research Consortium — a unique collaboration of six major academic medical centers designed to maximize the results of MDS clinical trials, to the benefit of patients everywhere. AAMDSIF also organizes a two-day biennial event – The International Scientific Symposium for Bone Marrow Failure Disease. Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, the meetings bring together clinical researchers and medical doctors who share and compare their knowledge of bone marrow failure. This scientific exchange helps to advance new theories and encourages collaboration in the search for the cures. AAMDSIF was founded in 1983 by families who had nowhere to turn when their loved ones were afflicted with bone marrow failure disease. Its patient education, advocacy and research programs are supported through individual contributions from grateful patients, families and friends, as well as foundations and corporations. For 11 consecutive years, AAMDSIF has earned the coveted 4-star rating from leading independent charity evaluator, Charity Navigator.

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