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Honorees for National Lupus Awards Announced

Lupus Foundation of America Gala to Honor Senator Tom Harkin, Sheila Johnson, and Dr. Elliott Sigal

Program also will feature Grammy Award-winning Artist Patti LaBelle and CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O'Brien

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) will hold its Fifth Annual Awards Gala on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington, DC. The honorees are U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sheila C. Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hospitality, LLC, and Elliott Sigal, M.D., Ph.D., President of Research and Development, Executive Vice President, and Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. These outstanding national leaders will receive the Foundation's highest honors for their efforts to advance lupus as a significant national health problem.

CNN Anchor and Special Correspondent Soledad O'Brien will serve as the Master of Ceremonies and Grammy Award-winning artist Patti LaBelle will entertain the Gala attendees.

Senator Harkin, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, will receive the Leadership in Lupus Research Award for his steadfast leadership and support of the National Institutes of Health in advancing research on lupus and other women's health issues.

Ms. Johnson will receive the Cooper Family Foundation Leadership Award in recognition of her global interest in and support of girls' and women's issues.

Dr. Sigal will receive the Corporate Leadership in Lupus Award, recognizing the company's efforts to develop safe, effective treatments for individuals affected by lupus.

For ticket information, contact Paola Williams at the Lupus Foundation of America at 202-349-1158 or, or go online to

Lupus is the result of an unbalanced immune system that becomes destructive to any major organ or tissue in the body. Lupus can be very unpredictable and is potentially fatal, yet no satisfactory treatment or a cure exists. Its health consequences may include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and organ failure. The LFA estimates that more than 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus.

The LFA is the foremost national nonprofit voluntary health organization dedicated to finding the causes of and cure for lupus, and to providing support, services, and hope to all people affected by lupus. The Annual Gala will raise funds to support LFA programs of research, education, and advocacy.

SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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