The Avielle Foundation Profiled in the Wall Street Journal

Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article on The Avielle Foundation, and touches upon our efforts to reduce future incidences of violence through brain health research: “Dr. Richman, 43 years old, is a neuropharmacologist and senior fellow at Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical company. Ms. Hensel, 47, has worked in regulatory medical writing, preparing reports on clinical-trial … Read moreThe Avielle Foundation Profiled in the Wall Street Journal

Breasts, Meet Brains – The New Kid on the Block

By Anneliese Dickman                                                                                                                07/10/2013

The Avielle Foundation’s objectives are twofold: promoting and supporting research on brain health to prevent violence and building community to foster connectivity and empathy.  This two-pronged approach to better health has been shown to be successful by many other wellness advocacy organizations, all of whom owe a debt to Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  She created an organization that has raised a tremendous amount of money for research, but to do so she first brought breast cancer out of the shadows by helping families, health care providers, and the media shine a light on the disease and its effects.

Just as women learning about breast health have come together to eliminate what was once a stigma, the Avielle Foundation encourages communities to learn together about brain health to bring it out of the shadows.
Just as women learning about breast health have come together to eliminate what was once a stigma, the Avielle Foundation encourages communities to learn together about brain health to bring it out of the shadows.

At the time of Komen for the Cure’s first fundraiser, in 1982, the local reporter covering the event struggled to convince her editors that her news story should include the word “breast” and not just refer to some unnamed “women’s cancer.”  This reluctance to acknowledge female biology was typical, and meant that women and their families suffered in silence.  Survivors were afraid to reveal the scars of breast cancer on their bodies, and those that had lost loved ones could not truly describe their mothers’, sisters’, or daughters’ suffering for fear of offending.  If cancer was a word whispered in polite company, breast cancer was not uttered at all.

Nancy Brinker realized that raising enough money to find a cure could happen only if society was comfortable talking about breast health.  She sought media attention for her work; cultivated support from high-profile women like Betty Ford and Happy Rockefeller, who had been open about their diagnosis and treatment; and advocated loudly for breast cancer, as the number two killer of women, to become a priority of policymakers and cancer researchers.  She had facts and figures on her side, and coupled the statistics with personal stories from women across the country.

In addition, she ensured that the foundation’s work was inclusive of all types of breast cancer patients, from all walks of life (including men).  She knew that the pervasiveness of the disease, while devastating, was also the aspect that could ensure the foundation’s success.  She felt there was literally no one who did not fit the profile of a potential foundation supporter, because there was literally no one who did not potentially have someone in their life affected by breast cancer.  In the early days of the foundation, she found it possible to work a pitch for a contribution into every conversation she had.

Read moreBreasts, Meet Brains – The New Kid on the Block

The Avielle Foundation on All Things Considered

Yesterday, an interview with Jennifer and Jeremy was broadcast on WSHU’s All Things Considered with Craig LeMoult.  They took the opportunity to discuss their approach to brain health research and how their work with the foundation has been part of their healing process.  You can listen to the interview using the player below, or by … Read moreThe Avielle Foundation on All Things Considered

Avielle Foundation on Good Day NY

Today is the 6-month anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  This morning, Avielle’s parents Jennifer and Jeremy appeared on Good Day New York for an extensive interview.  Thanks for Fox New York and everyone at Good Day New York for remembering all of the victims of this event, and also for giving … Read moreAvielle Foundation on Good Day NY

Make the Invisible Visible

The Avielle Foundation is meeting with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) today, June 4th, 2103. As scientists, we frequently ask ourselves “blue sky” questions – trying to assess what an ideal world or situation would look like.  In our meeting with OSTP we want to brainstorm what technologies will become available to … Read moreMake the Invisible Visible

National Conference on Mental Health

On Monday, June 3rd, the Avielle Foundation has been invited to attend the National Conference on Mental Health. President Obama and Vice President Biden will host a White House Mental Health Conference as part of the Administration’s effort to launch a national conversation to increase understanding and awareness about brain health. President Obama will deliver opening … Read moreNational Conference on Mental Health

Science + Technology = The Health Informatics Megatrend

Our champions in Silicon Valley, the SV Angels, have their sights set on the next big thing. They call it Health Informatics. And they happen to believe that it’s people like us — like the Avielle Foundation — that will foster the evolution and progress of this field. David Lee, the managing director of SV Angels … Read moreScience + Technology = The Health Informatics Megatrend

The Avielle Foundation makes international news!

This morning, the Avielle Foundation was profiled in an Associated Press article.  At this moment, over 1700 newspapers and 5000 television and radio broadcasts have permission to publish the article, and many have already chosen to do so.   By Michael Melia (AP) HARTFORD, Conn. — As parents, Jeremy Richman and Jennifer Hensel were plunged … Read moreThe Avielle Foundation makes international news!

Avielle Foundation Introduces Scientific Advisory Board That Will Guide, Prioritize Funding of Brain Health Research to Identify Underpinnings of Violence

Sandy Hook Organization Focused on Two-Pronged Approach to Reducing Violence NEWTOWN, Conn., April 15, 2013 – The Avielle Foundation, formed in January with a goal of preventing violence through brain health research and the fostering of community initiatives, today announced its scientific advisory board (SAB) comprised of world-renowned experts in psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience. Introduced by … Read moreAvielle Foundation Introduces Scientific Advisory Board That Will Guide, Prioritize Funding of Brain Health Research to Identify Underpinnings of Violence

The Conway Family Donates $50,000 to the Avielle Foundation

By Jennifer Hensel & Jeremy Richman In March, we had an interesting and inspiring experience over dinner with a gentleman, his wife, and their friend and acquaintances. As we broke bread, we told them about our daughter, Avielle, and about the plans we have to build stronger and safer communities through our foundation. The conversation … Read moreThe Conway Family Donates $50,000 to the Avielle Foundation

Benefit Dinner for the Avielle Foundation

On May 3rd, a benefit dinner for the Avielle Foundation will take place at the Beach Grass Cafe in Solana Beach, CA.  This event is being organized by Kim Fultz, a friend to the Richman-Hensel family and one of Jenn’s former coworkers.  Cindy and Kevin Nelson, the owners of Beach Grass Cafe, will donate 100% … Read moreBenefit Dinner for the Avielle Foundation

Brain Health – TAF in San Francisco

by Jeremy Richman Between March 14th and March 17th, Jennifer, Mike, and I were able to represent the Avielle Foundation in San Francisco to meet with innovative thinkers, brain researchers, and philanthropists. We headed to the West Coast to focus on innovative brain health research, and how it can be used to prevent violence. Our efforts were … Read moreBrain Health – TAF in San Francisco

Arena Pharmaceuticals Helping TAF

Last Valentines day, the two month anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders, Erin, one of my old colleagues at Arena Pharmaceuticals and one of my very favorite people, went to bat to help the Avielle Foundation.  She wanted to do a Valentines day fundraiser at Arena.  With very little preparation time, Erin called … Read moreArena Pharmaceuticals Helping TAF

Update on White Dragon’s Seminar for Avielle

As many of you have already seen, White Dragon Martial Arts of San Diego held a very successful fundraising event this past weekend.  Initial estimates were that over $10,000 had been raised for The Avielle Foundation.  Unfortunately, it appears those estimates were off by over 30%. Fortunately, the actual amount was even greater!  All told, … Read moreUpdate on White Dragon’s Seminar for Avielle

White Dragon Martial Arts of San Diego Raises over $10k $15k for The Avielle Foundation

As many of you know, the Richman-Hensel family lived in San Diego from 2001-2011.  Shortly after their arrival, Jeremy and Jennifer began training in Kung Fu and Tai Chi at White Dragon Martial Arts.  From her birth in 2006, Avielle was a frequent visitor to the White Dragon school in Mira Mesa, where her mother Jennifer … Read moreWhite Dragon Martial Arts of San Diego Raises over $10k $15k for The Avielle Foundation

Connecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation Donates to Avielle Foundation in Memory of Newtown Tragedy Victims

(Meriden, Conn.) Since the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the Connecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation has collected generous donations from countless individuals and organizations across the United States and Canada. In an effort to channel these funds to an appropriate organization whose goal is to address the fundamental, underlying factors of … Read moreConnecticut Credit Union Charitable Foundation Donates to Avielle Foundation in Memory of Newtown Tragedy Victims

In the News: Sandy Hook Ribbons at the State of the Union Address

Via NPR: “Green ribbons were on prominent display at President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night, worn in honor of the victims of the Newton, Conn., elementary school shooting.” “Plenty of other ribbons and lapel pins gave visual support to causes. But ribbons in the green and white colors of Sandy Hook Elementary … Read moreIn the News: Sandy Hook Ribbons at the State of the Union Address