Monday, December 22, 2014
QVF Year in Review
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation had a very busy and productive year in 2014.
In February, Assistant Director Donna Schutz and her fiance Jeff Stephens were interviewed for a Croatian radio station. The station heard about their love story. Donna lives in Australia and Jeff lives in Atlanta, Georgia. They have had a 16,000 mile long distance relationship for five years. The interview starts at 0:45:00 minutes and finishes at 1:06:40. At approximately 58:40 is about fluoroquinolones and QVF http://radio.hrt.hr/drugi-program/ep/gladne-usi-13022014/54501/. This is the English Raw version with an added video to the interview: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202541591173861 .
In March, Dr. Charles Bennett from the University of South Carolina published a QVF study on fluoroquinolone induced cardiac issues in the Annals of Family Medicine. http://annfammed.org/content/12/2/121
Also in March, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation connected with Ryan Clarkson, owner of Clarkson Law Firm in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Clarkson's firm was the first firm to review fluoroquinolone-induced peripheral neuropathy. A week and a half later, QVF connected with Baron & Budd Law Firm, a national law firm which partnered with Clarkson Law Firm to try peripheral neuropathy cases.
www.clarksonlawfirm.com and www.baronandbudd.com
As she does every year, President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert attended Johnson & Johnson's shareholder meeting in April in New Brunswick, New Jersey to speak with CEO Alex Gorsky. Ms. Brummert was invited for a private meeting at Johnson & Johnson headquarters for a follow-up meeting.
Sometimes QVF hits snags along the way. In May, QVF materials were stolen in Australia. Constable Jennifer Favorito recovered everything after an investigation was launched. QVF Assistant Director Donna Schutz arranged a special presentation to honor Constable Favorito for her hard work. Ms. Schutz went on to educate the police department about fluoroquinolones. Luckily this snag had a happy ending!
Part of Ms Schutz's presentation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63Ti2IM9LI4
QVF was asked several times this year to come and educate doctors. In May, Ms Brummert met with Rothman Institute, a specialized orthopedic hospital in South Jersey; she also met with Capital Health Systems.
On June 11, we had sad news to report. Bob Grozier, an activist who was severely damaged by Cipro, died at the age of 55. We will never forget him. http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/dead-from-cipro-at-55-quinolone-antibiotic-injury-victims-mourn-loss-of-activist-bob-grozier/
On June 26, President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert and Assistant Director Donna Schutz traveled to Atlanta, Georgia for a presentation at Progressive Medical Center about fluoroquinolones. Joining them were floxies Jeff Stephens and Bill Milligan. Progressive Medical Center treats fluoroquinolone toxicity patients. www.progressivemedicalcenter.com. Thank you Donna Schutz and Carey Spurgeon for arranging the presentation. It went very well and we continue to work with Progressive.
At the end of July, QVF elected Leslie Day to the position of Secretary, succeeding Alice Broussard, who needed to step down after a year and a half of faithful service.
During the summer, President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert met with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital to speak with the medical board about how fluoroquinolones are prescribed. 1) Informed patient consent after being warned of the risks. 2) Only for life threatening infections. 3)Verify that there is an infection in the first place. 4)Never to children.
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation also supported a Citizens Petition submitted by Dr. Charles Bennett from the University of South Carolina to The US Food and Drug Administration. This Citizen Petition is asking the FDA to add Mitochondrial Toxicity to a 3rd Black Box warning. Through a Freedom of Information request, there is solid documentation from the FDA themselves which states that they have been aware that fluoroquinolones cause Mitochondrial Toxicity and never told doctors or patients of this link. Mitochondrial Toxicity causes diseases such as Parkinson's, ALS, Alzheimer's, MS, and Neurosarcoidosis. QVF is calling on the FDA to immediately issue this Black Box warning and use their own words on the label. http://www.saferpills.org/citizen-petition/.
Also in August, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation received its non-profit 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, 15 months after we applied for it.
We also kicked off our annual online auction to help us fund research and to raise awareness.
Rounding out the month of August in the good news department was that Tom Sims from Baron & Budd Law Firm filed the first of many rounds of lawsuits against the makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, specifically against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140826006280/en/Baron-Budd-Files-Litigation-Levaquin-Avelox-Cipro#.VHqaBslu2eU . We are very grateful for all of his hard work.
This is a breakdown on course of action in the pleadings:
1. Liability damages
2. Failure to warn
4. Breach of expressed warranty
5. Breach of implied warranty
7. Negligent misrepresentation
8. Fraudulent concealment
On August 25, Rachel Brummert hosted a conference at Capital Health Systems, educating over 80 doctors about fluoroquinolones. This was our biggest presentation yet.
That same day, Ms Brummert submitted documents and Comments to Dr. Walter Ellenberg at the FDA for a September 23, 2014 FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. These documents were presented to everyone at the Committee Meeting to request that they reconsider the use of Pediatric Levaquin in children. Those documents and Comments have been forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
September was also a busy month. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation issued 3 press releases:
-September 2, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation Press Release published: http://www.saferpills.org/contact/media-inquiries/quinolone-vigilance-foundation-warns-levaquin-cipro-avelox-may-result-neurodegenerative-diseases/
-September 15, 2014- Press release published: http://www.saferpills.org/contact/media-inquiries/quinolone-vigilance-foundation-supports-citizen-petition-requesting-another-black-box-warning-levaquin-cipro-avelox/
-September 16, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation Press Release published addressing the documents and Comments that Executive Director Rachel Brummert submitted to the FDA for a September 23, 2014 FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland: http://www.saferpills.org/request-fda-investigate-potential-levaquin-link-mystery-illnesses-california-children/
Also in September, QVF supported another Citizen Petition submitted by Dr. Charles Bennett from the University of South Carolina to the FDA requesting a 4th Black Box Warning regarding Psychiatric Effects. http://www.saferpills.org/citizen-petition-psychiatric-effects/
September also saw QVF cast in the national spotlight, starting with an article written by Michelle Lee for the Arizona Republic featuring QVF Public Relations Director Jenny Frank. http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2014/09/17/critics-demand-stronger-warnings-potent-antibiotics/15759755/ . The story was picked up in USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/17/levaquin-antibiotic-side-effects/15767249/ and Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/story/life/wellness/2014/09/17/antibiotics-warning-labels-fda/15770411/ .
A few days later, on September 22, Rachel Brummert lead a conference educating doctors and administrators about Fluoroquinolone Toxicity at CentraState Medical Center.
The next day, Irvin Jackson wrote an article about the Citizens Petition requesting the FDA add a Psychiatric Effects Black Box Warning to fluoroquinolones. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is mentioned, and President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert is quoted. http://www.aboutlawsuits.com/antibiotic-black-box-petitions-71197/
The day after that, on September 23, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation attended a FDA Pediatric Advisory Committee meeting in Bethesda, Maryland to present a report requesting the FDA reconsider the use of Levaquin in children and requesting that the FDA open an investigation into whether Levaquin is causing paralyisis and "mystery illness" in children in California.
In October, President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert met twice with CentraState Medical Center in New Jersey to educate their doctors about fluoroquinolones, and met with the medical board to advise them on safer prescribing procedures for fluoroquinolones if one must be used in a life-threatening situation, and to help implement informed consent after being advised of the risks.
Rachel Brummert was interviewed by two reporters for stories that will be published at a later date.
We did hit a snag in mid-October. QVF was the victim of identity theft. Our corporate card number was used for fraudulent purchases. Our bank notified Executive Director Rachel Brummert and the matter was quickly resolved. Every penny was recovered and additional measures were implemented to make sure this never happens again. We are thankful for the bank's fraud department for alerting us so quickly. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's policy is to cooperate with all levels of law enforcement. We continue to assist law enforcement in their investigation and the perpetrator will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Ending October, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation welcomed Dr. Joe Hudak to the Board of Directors. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from New York Chiropractic College after completing his undergraduate studies at Middlesex County College. To further his education, he completed an intensive residency program at Levittown Health Center in Long Island, New York. Dr. Hudak then went on to work as a Senior Associate at Park Avenue Chiropractic in Manhattan before returning to the Edison Area to open his state of the art office facility where he currently practices.
November was very exciting. Several news stories aired featuring Public Relations Director Jenny Frank.
November 3, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Arizona Ambassador and Public Relations Director Jenny Frank is interviewed for a news story that aired on ABC15. http://www.abc15.com/news/local-news/investigations/experts-top-antibiotic-carries-hidden-side-effects-not-listed-on-the-label
November 3, 2014- Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's Arizona Ambassador and Public Relations Director Jenny Frank is interviewed for a news story that aired in NBC12. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation is specifically mentioned: http://www.azcentral.com/videos/news/local/arizona/2014/11/04/18450053/
November 14, 2014- ABC7 in Detroit, Michigan aired Dave Biscobing's news story featuring QVF's Public Relations Director Jenny Frank: http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/experts-top-antibiotic-carries-hidden-side-effects-not-listed-on-the-label
November 15, 2014- WRTV ABC in Indianapolis aired Dave Biscobing's news story featuring QVF's Public Relations Director Jenny Frank:
November 18, 2014- WPTV in Palm Beach, Florida aired Dave Biscobing's news story featuring QVF's Public Relations Director Jenny Frank http://www.wptv.com/money/consumer/experts-top-antibiotic-carries-hidden-side-effects-not-listed-on-the-label
November 18, 2014- WCPO in Cincinnati aired Dave Biscobing's news story featuring QVF's Public Relations Director Jenny Frank http://www.wcpo.com/news/health/healthy-living/levaquin-popular-antibiotic-carries-side-effects-not-listed-on-label
November 24, 2014- ABC10 in San Diego airs news story featuring QVF's Public Relations Director and Arizona Ambassador Jenny Frank and QVF's Palmdale, California Ambassador Tony Woods. http://www.10news.com/news/investigations/patients-experts-popular-antibiotics-could-cause-permanent-damage-11242014
QVF also began working with Lincoln Combs and Mark O'Connor from Gallagher & Kennedy Law Firm, who are reviewing cases of fluoroquinolone-induced peripheral neuropathy. www.gknet.com
At the end of November, released our first promotional video.
More coming soon.
In December, Executive Director Rachel Brummert presented Thomas Sims from Baron & Budd Law Firm with a plaque thanking him for all of his hard work on behalf of fluoroquinolone victims.
Rachel writes about their meeting here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/qvf-meets-with-tom-sims-from-baron-budd/877177628967779
In addition, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation also honored Ryan Clarkson from Clarkson Law Firm for his hard work on behalf of the fluoroquinolone community.
Mr. Clarkson was kind enough to make a video for us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKzBdQ2RAz4
On December 16, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation created a YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqLU8_J7YCE773rKbjAWdgw
Rachel Brummert was interviewed by Lisa Bloomquist, founder of Floxie Hope. Ms Brummert is featured in Episode 3, dated December 17th. In it, she talks about the history of QVF, current projects, and future projects. December 17, 2014- Executive Director Rachel Brummert was interviewed for an iTunes podcast by Lisa Bloomquist, founder of Floxie Hope.
Ms. Brummert's interview is Episode 3 dated December 17:
Executive Director Rachel Brummert honored Donna Schutz in Villa Rica, Georgia with a plaque for outstanding service to QVF on December 23. Ms Schutz is an integral part of QVF and works very hard behind the scenes.
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation also honored Susan Knape, Communications Director at Baron & Budd Law Firm. Susan is a strong supporter of QVF and has worked very hard to help us.
We also honored Dr Joe Hudak from Hudak Chiropractic. Dr Joe has been treating fluoroquinolone toxicity patients for a long time and he genuinely cares about his patients. His knowledge and experience makes him a wonderful addition to our team. Thank you for all you do Dr. Joe!
In addition, we honored Public Relations Director Jenny Frank with a plaque to thank her for all her hard work. Jenny was featured in seven news stories, wrote an excellent Press Release, which was picked up by several media outlets, and she does a great job behind the scenes also. Thank you for all you do Jenny! You are a true asset to our team.
Throughout the year, President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert wrote several articles and guest blogs:
March 27, 2014- http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/03/the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/
June 3, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/qvf-warns-users-of-cipro-levaquin-and-avelox-of-nerve-damage-risk/
June 16, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/dead-from-cipro-at-55-quinolone-antibiotic-injury-victims-mourn-loss-of-activist-bob-grozier/
June 24, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/it-only-takes-one-how-levaquin-forever-damaged-my-life/
June 30, 2014- http://carenovatemag.com/personal-account-prescription-destruction-black-box-warning/
August 4. 2014- http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/08/tips-for-those-doctor-visits-from-the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/
August 13, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/general/avoiding-quinolone-antibiotics-during-surgery-one-womans-story/
August 14, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/depression-and-suicide-tips-and-warning-signs/818814418137434
August 18, 2014- http://www.progressivemedicalcenter.com/progressive-medical-center-supports-the-quinolone-vigilance-foundation/
September 7, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/explaining-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/830255793659963
September 29, 2014- http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/09/levaquin-fluoroquinolones-affect-your-brain/
October 16, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/general/finding-and-working-with-a-levaquin-cipro-or-avelox-nerve-damage-attorney-guest-blog-by-qvf-executive-director-rachel-brummert/
October 28, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/but-stupid-things-people-say-about-fluoroquinolone-toxicity-guest-post-by-qvf-executive-director-rachel-brummert/
November 5, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/more-stupid-things-people-say-about-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/860032547348954
November 6, 2014- : https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/viral-vs-bacterial-infections/860172097334999
November 6, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/travel-tips-for-those-with-fluoroquinolone-toxicity/860580987294110
November 8, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/fluoroquinolones-in-pets/861353870550155?notif_t=like
November 22, 2014- http://clarksonlawfirm.com/blog/the-uglier-side-of-fluoroquinolone-toxicity-guest-post-by-rachel-brummert-executive-director-of-qvf/
November 24, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/im-not-sorry/869265403092335
November 28, 2014- https://www.facebook.com/notes/quinolone-vigilance-foundation/surviving-the-holidays-with-fluoroquinolone-toxocity/871855786166630
December 11, 2014- http://baronandbudd.com/protecting-whats-right/2014/12/fluoroquinolone-toxicity-im-not-fine/?utm_source=subscribe2&utm_medium=email
Throughout the fall and winter, Quinolone Vigilance Foundation and President and Executive Director Rachel Brummert were nominated for six WEGO Health Awards.
Winners will be announced in early 2015.
QVF has accomplished quite a bit in 2014, and we are looking forward to another productive year. Quinolone Vigilance Foundation will have a charity fundraising concert on Friday, March 13 in Stafford, Virginia. There will be four bands. Check back soon for updates on the concert.
Without all of you, our Board of Directors, volunteer staff, and Ambassadors, we would not be able to do what we do. Thank you for your continued support.
If you would like to help us continue our work, please consider a donation. We are a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax deductible.
Quinolone Vigilance Foundation's
PO Box 4023
Hamilton, NJ 08610
Rachel Brummert, President/Executive Director
Matthew Arnold, Vice President
Donna Schutz, Assistant Director
Leslie Day, Secretary
Christina Manthos-Sorrell, Treasurer
Michelle Fewer, Fundraising Director
Dr. Deanna Minkler, General Board Member
Dr. Joe Hudak, General Board Member
Lori Boz, R.N., Consultant
Victoria Chiovare, Assistant Fundraising Director
Jenny Frank, Public Relations Director