The Global Autoimmune Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We post our annual 990-PFs on the site as they become available. Our Board of Directors includes Sandra Boek Werness, Executive Director; Alfreda Jones, M.D., Treasurer; Marcia Mayo, Member; Elizabeth Loftus, Member; and an additional Member.
GAI’s assets are primarily comprised of investments, and any donations it may receive. The primary role of GAI as it relates to donations and investments is to prudently manage the assets and to achieve the Institute’s funding goals for its programming, partnerships, and grants.
Our Mission and What We Do
At the Global Autoimmune Institute, we are committed to improving diagnosis and physician/patient relationships, while supporting multidisciplinary approaches to wellness throughout our global autoimmune community, as well as funding scientific and medical research.
We focus on the common but often overlooked co-existence of multiple autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders, and on the needs of patients for validation, proper diagnoses, and psychological support. Due to the Executive Director’s life-changing experience of having a child with long undiagnosed celiac disease and coexisting disorders, Sandy joined the Advisory Board of the Celiac Group of the Children’s National Medical Center (now Children’s National Hospital or CNH) in Washington, D.C. in 2012. She contributed her energy and ideas, finding a shared passion and aligned goals.
When Sandy joined GAI in 2013, she and the Board determined that the organization should take a new direction and began formulating its mission, taking the steps necessary to move forward. In 2015, GAI joined in partnership with the Celiac Group of CNH on several fronts, which has resulted in the development of innovative educational programs and materials for medical professionals as well as patients and families living with celiac disease, co-existing autoimmune diseases, and neurological disorders. Funding by GAI established the multidisciplinary clinic at CNH for celiac disease patients. These and other initiatives brought CNH into prominence in celiac disease diagnosis, treatment, and education.
GAI has also embarked on other initiatives, as it continues to expand its horizons to advance important collaboration among and investigations by top experts in emerging and established areas in autoimmune disease. GAI promotes leadership and a global cooperative perspective on the part of these experts. GAI’s overall goals are to help discover the causes, mechanisms, variables, and effective treatments in autoimmune disease, to support and educate individuals and their families who suffer from these chronic conditions, and to educate and raise awareness in the medical community.