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Community Foundation for Brevard Funds Preeclampsia Foundation Research

Last Updated on Wednesday, October 01, 2014

For Immediate Release 

October 1, 2014

Debbie Helton                                                                                                 
(321) 421-6957

Community Foundation for Brevard Funds Preeclampsia Foundation Research

Special Announcement Made at Preeclampsia Foundation Community Reception

Melbourne, Florida – October 1, 2014 – At a special reception last night, the Community Foundation for Brevard awarded the Brevard-based Preeclampsia Foundation a Medical Research Grant in the amount of $30,000from the Kenneth R. Finken and Dorothy Hallam Finken Endowment Fund. This grant will be used to study preeclampsia and its impact on the long-term health of mothers and infants through The Preeclampsia Registry™.

“Preeclampsia is a serious condition related to high blood pressure during and after pregnancy,” said Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation. “It’s one of the most common complications of pregnancy, impacting one in every 12 pregnancies in the United States. Globally, preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are a leading cause of prematurity and death with 76,000 mothers and 500,000 infants dying every year.

“In addition, preeclampsia is a significant risk factor for long-term heart disease and stroke,” continued Tsigas. “Two out of three women with a history of preeclampsia will die from cardiovascular disease, an estimated 4.6 million American women alive today. This research grant will help us better understand the genetic factors associated with preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease in an effort to identify optimal, personalized interventions to prevent and treat heart disease and stroke in women who have experienced preeclampsia.”

“We’re proud to support Brevard-based medical research benefiting mothers and babies world-wide through this Medical Research Grant to the Preeclampsia Foundation,”said Sandi Scannelli, President/CEO of the Community Foundation for Brevard.

To develop a potential cure, this medical research project will expand The Preeclampsia Registry to include a biobank of DNA samples, allowing for microarray analysis for tens-of-thousands of DNA markers, some of which will undergo exome/genome sequencing.

The first of its kind to focus solely on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, The Preeclampsia Registry captures self-reported and clinical information as well as family and pregnancy history. Overseen by an Institutional Review Board, the registry ensures participants’ privacy and rights in medical research by sharing only de-identified information with approved scientists, researchers, and clinicians.


About Community Foundation for Brevard

Founded in 1981 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Community Foundation for Brevard encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies.  It makes grants to and works together with nonprofits to address community needs and interests. The Foundation supports initiatives, programs, and partnerships that enhance Brevard’s quality of life. For more information, visitcfbrevard.org.


About the Preeclampsia Foundation

The Preeclampsia Foundation is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2000. It is dedicated to providing patient support and education, raising public awareness, catalyzing research and improving health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.


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