Ellen Levine, IPPF Patient Educator, and Debra Teperman, IPPF Board of Directors. (Photo by Jeff Thiebauth Photography)

The IPPF is excited to announce that Ellen Levine, IPPF Patient Educator and pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patient, received the Harvard Medical School Dean’s Community Service Award for her work with the IPPF. The award identifies individuals whose dedication and commitment to community service have made an outstanding positive impact on the local and/or global community. The award includes a $1,000 donation to the IPPF.

Ellen lives in Boston and works for the Armenise-Harvard Foundation, a foundation at Harvard Medical School (HMS) that supports leading scientists at HMS and at institutions in Italy in the pursuit of scientific discovery in the field of medicine. As an IPPF Patient Educator with the Awareness Program, Ellen has traveled to various universities and professional exhibits to share her diagnosis story with dental students and professionals in order to accelerate pemphigus and pemphigoid (P/P) diagnosis times.

Upon receiving her award, Ellen acknowledged, “It wasn’t long ago that I wouldn’t disclose the nature of my disease with people who I didn’t know. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing the fact that I had a chronic illness, let alone such a rare one, and one with such a strange-sounding name. Now I realize how important it is to spread awareness and to do my part to make an impact. With this award, I hope to raise even more awareness of P/P among those in the HMS community and beyond.”

Read more about the award ceremony here.