President's Message


It is my pleasure to address you one final time acting as the Greater New York Chapter Board President. As I reflect on the past two years, there are so many people worthy of thanks, but I would especially like to highlight my executive team: Vice President Robert Corti, Treasurer Scott Marcello, and Secretary Blake Brossman. As I step down, I know that the Greater New York Chapter is in strong, capable hands with new Board President Elect Robert Corti. He will be joined by Executive Team Elect: Vice President Kate Niehaus, Treasurer Thomas Lynch and Secretary Dawn Buccellato Zolek.

To quote Cystic Fibrosis Foundation President and CEO, Dr. Bob Beall, “now, at a time of unprecedented hope and optimism in our community, the importance of our mission demands that we take even bolder steps forward and – with courage, innovation and focus – explore every pathway that can help us reach our goal” (Our Commitment to a Cure, 1).

One of the greatest highlights during my term has been serving on the Revenue Action Team for the new 2014-2018 Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was released earlier this year and is comprised of 6 key strategies:

  • Pipeline and Promise
  • Adherence
  • Access to Treatment and Quality Care
  • Communications
  • Fundraising and Outreach
  • Engage and Listen to CF Adults

For more information, you can request a copy of the Strategic Plan from any of the three Greater New York Chapter offices.

This year has also been full of exciting medical updates for the CF community, leaving us with a feeling of optimism and determination. Most recently, in early November, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. submitted a new drug application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of the combination of ivacaftor (Kalydeco™) and lumacaftor. The potential drug is for people with cystic fibrosis ages 12 and older who have two copies of the F508del mutation, the most common CF mutation. This is a significant milestone, seeing as there are approximately 8,500 people with CF ages 12 and older in the United States with two copies of this mutation. Vertex has requested priority review from the FDA, and if granted, results will be released as early as summer of 2015.

As 2014 comes to an end and I close out my term as Board President, I would like to urge everyone to remain focused not only on the remarkable progress of the CF Foundation, but on the steps that still must be taken to reach our goal—curing cystic fibrosis.

I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and New Year!


John A. McKenna, Jr.
President, Board of Directors