Funding will improve health outcomes through increased education of psoriasis as a chronic immune-mediated systemic inflammatory disease.
Portland, Oregon - August 26, 2021
This week, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) was awarded a monumental grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NPF project, titled “Improving Patient Outcomes through Increased Awareness of Psoriasis as a Chronic Immune-Mediated Systemic Inflammatory Disease,” will significantly amplify the Foundation’s work to ensure all people with psoriatic disease live their healthiest lives.
Psoriasis is a chronic, immune-mediated systemic inflammatory disease affecting more than 8 million individuals in the United States -- or 3% of the population. To many, psoriasis is viewed as exclusively a disease of the skin, which manifests as discolored, scaly, itchy lesions. This misconception obscures the underlying immune-mediated systemic inflammatory processes occurring and the larger implications for overall health. The lack of comprehensive understanding and difficulty in accessing experienced health care providers (HCPs) in many communities create barriers to the optimization of patient outcomes and promotion of best practices for psoriasis care.
Since psoriasis is associated with increased rates of related health conditions (called comorbidities), which also have an underlying immune-mediated or systemic inflammatory component, education and public awareness are critical. This 3-year grant will provide funding to expand public health education activities to help improve surveillance, diagnosis and appropriate treatment of psoriasis. Without dedicated resources to strengthen the understanding, education, and awareness, public health professionals, HCPs, patients, caregivers, and the public may not be fully aware of the total health impact of this chronic disease.
“This is a pivotal moment for the National Psoriasis Foundation, as support from the CDC will strengthen our current work and give us the opportunity to positively impact even more people living with psoriasis,” said Randy Beranek, President and CEO of NPF. “We’re thrilled to be working alongside partners and stakeholders to address challenges that have prevented many from achieving proper diagnosis and optimal health outcomes, especially those from underserved communities.”
Funding will also address health disparities through education and training for primary care providers, advanced practice health care professionals, public health departments, and dermatologists serving communities of color, rural communities, and lower socioeconomic individuals.
“As we continue to learn more about psoriatic disease and the way it impacts different communities, addressing health equity is critical,” said Stacie Bell, PhD, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of NPF. "Training providers on diagnosing psoriasis in skin of color, which may present differently compared to lighter skin, as well as providing education to dermatologists on the treatment and management of mild psoriatic arthritis (PsA), due to the shortage of rheumatologist is rural areas, could improve access to appropriate care and address disparities. Importantly, many of these communities also have a higher prevalence of life-impacting comorbidities so ensuring that psoriasis is viewed as a systemic condition with proper screening and management is imperative to improve quality of life and lifespan.”
Through this CDC grant, NPF will continue to elevate widespread understanding and awareness of psoriasis in the United States. In 2013, the CDC released a first-ever public health agenda for psoriasis, focusing on 4 priority areas: diagnosis, prevalence and disparities of comorbidities, health care utilization and costs, and impact of psoriasis on quality of life and other outcomes. The agenda noted that “both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis present a substantial public health burden.”  The Foundation is excited to address some of the challenges of this public health burden through this critical initiative. Grant funding will begin on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research, education and funding, the National Psoriasis Foundation, NPF, is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $24 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at psoriasis.org