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Dear Editor,

From all of us at Stop Foodborne Illness, happy holidays!

I am Mitzi Baum, CEO at Stop Foodborne Illness.  After a 23-year career at a national non-profit, I began working with Stop in May and hit the ground running.  As we move toward the end of the year, I am excited to share updates with you as we begin to turn our focus toward our goals for 2020.

Shortly after my arrival, the Stop board of directors voted unanimously to revise our mission to:

Mitzi Baum

Support and engage people directly impacted by foodborne illness and mobilize them to help prevent illness and death by driving change through advocacy, collaboration, and innovation.

This update positions Stop to have the flexibility to continue impacting food safety policy, work with constituents – those impacted by foodborne illness and consumers in general – and industry and move into the area of public health.  Below are the three areas of strategic work for Stop in 2020:

Constituent Services

Our constituency, or friends of Stop that have been impacted by foodborne illness, is our foundation.  The strategic outcome of our work is to build out constituent services support.  This effort includes an overhaul of our website to provide 1-click/2-click access to essential information and (1) the Peer to Peer program; (2) Speakers Bureau; (3) the Alliance; and, (4) developing additional opportunities for constituents to engage.

Food Safety Policy

This past year, our focus on food safety policy has been directed toward traceability. Stop’s board co-chair, Mike Taylor, has been leading this endeavor by working with like-minded consumer advocacy groups and industry on the Romaine Task Force.  We’re looking forward to charting the progress of this work in the next calendar year and sharing the progress of this important initiative.

Early Detection

Early detection is an important initiative to raise awareness of the impact of foodborne illness.  In conjunction with our Dave Theno Fellow’s work on long-term consequences of foodborne disease, focusing on early detection and the broad implementation of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines to reduce pain and suffering, extended hospital stays and life-long physical and psychological impacts will be an area of focus for Stop in the next year.

The Stop team has been working to position ourselves to launch into this work at the start of 2020.  To accomplish these ambitious goals, we need your support.  With the public’s tax-deductible financial donations, we will build upon the foundation and not just grow but we’ll rewrite the story with these three measurable, strategic goals.  Please go to http://bit.ly/rewrite-the-story to support our 2020 vision.

Editor’s note: To learn more about the non-profit Stop Foodborne Illness, please visit the organization’s website.

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