The First Susan Lewis Memoral Award Granted

The Susan Lewis Memorial Award was established in 2007. Its purpose is to provide bursaries to doctors and other healthcare professionals from developing countries to allow them to travel to the UK Centres of Excellence. At the centres, they will undertake mentoring and educational programmes in the treatment and management of Gaucher disease.

The first round of applications closed last September. Each application was reviewed and scored by the members of the advisory board – Professor Timothy Cox, Dr Atul Mehta, Dr Ashok Vellodi and Dr Ed Wraith together with Susan’s husband David Lewis. Once scored, the Board of the Gauchers Association took the final decision.

The first award has been given Dr Daniela Avdjieva, a young doctor from Bulgaria. Dr Avdjieva already treats both adult and paediatric Gaucher patients, working alongside two senior doctors in Bulgaria treating Gaucher and other LSD patients. The Board felt that it is important for young doctors who are interested in this area of work to be encouraged and supported for succession planning and long-term security of the service. Dr Avdjieva will travel to the UK in October, spending four weeks visiting adult and paediatric hospitals, as well as Homecare companies involved in supporting Gaucher patients.

Association Chairman Jeremy Manuel said,”I am very pleased that the first award has been made to Dr Daniela Avdjieva. Susan visited Bulgaria and witnessed for herself the local needs. If we can play a part in facilitating the development of local services and expertise, then we will be fulfilling Susan’s vision of accessibility to the best treatment for all Gaucher patients.”

Second Round Call
The Association has now launched its second call for the Susan Lewis Memorial Award to be given in 2010. Applicants should e-mail Tanya at tanya@gaucher.org.uk for an information pack and application form.

The award is open to doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals who are working in the field of Gaucher disease and are committed to continue to do so. Successful applicants will experience a tailor made programme here in the UK, and a daily subsistence allowance will be given in addition to all travel and accommodation costs being met. Applicants for the second award must be received by the 30th September 2009.