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Autoimmune Association Appoints Randall Rutta President and CEO

Prominent Patient Advocate and Health Care Leader to Oversee Next Phase of Organization’s Growth


Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2019) – The Autoimmune Association (AARDA), a nonprofit education and advocacy organization dedicated to the eradication of autoimmune diseases, appointed Randall Rutta as President and CEO. Rutta succeeds founder and long-time President and Executive Director Virginia Ladd, who will now serve as Advisor to the President following a nearly 30-year run with the organization.


“In founding AARDA, I nurtured the vision of having autoimmune disease recognized as a category of disease,” said Ladd. “I was convinced that increasing awareness about patients’ challenges would result in more funding, education, and much-needed research of the genetic background of autoimmune disease, and this indeed, proved to be true.”


Rutta has been serving as AARDA’s Federal Policy Consultant in Washington, D.C. since March 2018, and is a seasoned health care executive with an extensive background in strategic and operational leadership in nonprofit health policy and service and delivery sectors.


“Autoimmune Association has consistently been at the forefront of changing the landscape for patients battling autoimmune diseases and advocating for increased research, awareness, education, and advocacy,” said Rutta. “I am energized to join Autoimmune Association at this critical time and work with the talented team, our members, partners, and other stakeholders to advance the critical goals of this great organization and the autoimmune disease community.”


In his new role, Rutta will continue to serve as Chair of the Advisory Task Force of the AARDA-lead national coalition, Let My Doctors Decide, established earlier this year to raise awareness about harmful access restrictions in support of a simple goal: treatment decisions should always be made by patients and trusted health care professionals, not insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.


“We are extremely grateful for Virginia’s extraordinary commitment to Autoimmune Association and its members and her tireless efforts on behalf of patients, said Autoimmune Association Board Chair Dr. Herbert Ford. “We are fortunate to have Randy at the helm, as he brings extensive non-profit expertise, policy depth, and a critical understanding of AARDA’s mission and its historical background.”


Much of Rutta’s career was at Easterseals, a global nonprofit service and advocacy organization dedicated to the health, well-being, and success of people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families. In 2017, Rutta established ConnectHealth, LLC, a Washington, DC-based, consulting services company providing senior health executives with strategic insight and support in achieving objectives across the healthcare ecosystem. Rutta also serves as Board Chair of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), a national coalition of nearly 100 patient, provider, and community organizations, business and labor groups, and health policy experts committed to raising awareness of chronic disease.


Autoimmune Association is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering and facilitating education, public awareness, research, and patient services. Since 1991, Autoimmune Association has been helping those affected by the more than 100 autoimmune diseases to ensure they have a voice in government and find support for their disease.


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Autoimmune Association is the nation’s only nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a category of disease and a major women’s health issue and promoting a collaborative research effort in order to find better treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, visit Follow us on social media: Facebook (, Twitter (@AARDATweets), Instagram (@autoimmune_diseases), and YouTube (



Laura Simpson

[email protected]

(586) 776-3900


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