Every year, the Foundation recognizes our most dedicated volunteers through awards that are announced during the Conference. The Foundation could not accomplish all that we do without the hard work and dedication of volunteers like these awardees. Thank you to these recipients who show how an individual can make a big difference just by getting involved.
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Healthcare Professional Leadership Award: Stephen Cohen, OD
Dr. Stephen Cohen has long been a champion for Sjögren’s patients, devoting his career to helping patients and finding better ways to manage and treat their disease. He is a dedicated private practice optometrist in Scottsdale, Arizona whose contributions to Sjögren’s goes well beyond his role as an exceptional eye care specialist as his commitment and dedication to Sjögren’s patients includes being actively engaged with the Sjögren’s Foundation for over 15 years.
Volunteer Leadership Award: Kalla Ford
Kalla Ford defines the meaning of the word “volunteer,” and she has been a passionate volunteer for the Sjögren's Foundation for over 10 years. After running with Team Sjögren's, Kalla took over as the Foundation’s Team Sjögren's Trainer, a role she continues to hold today, and has been instrumental to the program’s success.
Development Service Award: Sharon and Larry Dutcher
Sharon & Larry Dutcher have been a part of the Phoenix Walk for more than 10 years with their participation and role growing more and more each year. Sharon has raised thousands of dollars, recruited numerous sponsors year after year, and served as the Walk chair while Larry has always been by her side supporting her and serving as an invaluable volunteer at the Walk each year. They are a major reason for the Phoenix Walk’s growth and continued success.
Awareness Service Award: Lupe Castañeda and Brian Colburn
Lupe and Brian are exception individuals who have used their voices (literally) and passion to increase Sjögren's awareness. Lupe has Sjögren's, her husband, Brian, has helped and supported her, and together they started a podcast called “Sjögren's Strong” to share their journey, struggles, and triumphs with others. They have also been actively engaged with the Foundation in a variety of different ways.
Vision Award: Jennifer Bromberg
Jennifer Bromberg is a true role model and inspiration for all patients fighting Sjögren's. Diagnosed nearly 20 years ago at the age of 19, Jennifer has faced challenge after challenge with her Sjögren's. Despite all the tests, doctor appointments, surgeries, and numerous treatments, she has remarkably stayed positive and kept a smile on her face. Her and her family have been instrumental in making the Dallas Walk for Sjögren's such a huge success and have donated more than $150,000 to support the efforts and work of the Foundation.
Impact Award: Steven Taylor
Every once in a while, someone amazing comes along and makes an incredible difference and a huge impact. Steven Taylor is one of those once in a lifetime kind of people. For almost 18 years, Taylor served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Sjögren’s Foundation. For his extraordinary leadership and achievements for the betterment of people with Sjögren’s and deep commitment to the Foundation, we are truly honored to present him with the 2021 IMPACT AWARD!