Virginia T. Ladd, R.T.
Virginia Ladd is the President and Executive Director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA), an organization that she founded to bring a national focus to autoimmunity and increase collaboration in autoimmune research, education, awareness, and advocacy. She has been involved in the nonprofit community for over 30 years as a patient advocate and educator. Mrs. Ladd served as president and executive director of the Lupus Foundation of America.
Mrs. Ladd was instrumental in the formation of the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), an alliance dedicated to advocacy for patient-centered health care, and is an immediate past member of its board of governors. She has served as a member of the board of directors for the UN NGO Health Committee and is a past member of the board of directors of the National Health Council. She is the founder and facilitator for the National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups (NCAPG), an organization of 33 national autoimmune disease-specific groups.
She was the first non-researcher to be awarded the “AESKU.AWARD for Life Contribution to Autoimmunity,” which was presented to her at the 7th International Congress on Autoimmunity,” in Ljubljana, Slovenia–“recognizing Virginia’s tireless efforts to spread awareness and education for autoimmune diseases and to encourage collaboration among researchers and others in advancing the cause of autoimmune patients on both national and international levels.” She also was presented with the prestigious Heritage Award of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association.
As a national and international speaker, she was an invited guest and speaker to the Fourth International Conference on Health Promotion, in Jakarta, Indonesia, sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health, Republic of Indonesia. Mrs. Ladd addressed the United Nations in March 2000 at a meeting organized by AARDA along with the Global Alliance for Women’s Health (GAWH), entitled “Women and Autoimmune Diseases: Gender and Biological Perspective,” featuring internationally known researchers, as part of the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2000.
Mrs. Ladd serves on several committees of the National Institutes of Health, including the Autoimmune Diseases Coordinating Committee; the Public Interest Committee for the National Institute of Heart, Lung and Blood; the Public Interest Group for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the Panel of Experts for the NIH Autoimmune Diseases Research Plan. Mrs. Ladd is a member of the steering committee of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics.
She was responsible for the progress report “Environmental Triggers of Autoimmune Disease,” prepared by the Johns Hopkins Center for Autoimmune Disease Research and the PAHO/WHO collaborating Center for Autoimmune Disorders.
In honor of her many years of volunteer service, Mrs. Ladd was a 1995 Jefferson Award Honoree of the American Institute for Public Service with recognition at the national level.