We applaud organizations that are committed to education, advocacy, and research and development and those dedicated to finding a cure. We don't want to reinvent where others have created a path. We want to build the bridge!
Our non-profit organization was founded in 2013 by a group of individuals who realized a major gap in the IBD community - to help patients and their families living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) offset the high cost of medical and non-medical related expenses. Bottoms Up works to build the bridge to eliminate this gap!
Our mission is to work with hospitals and physician offices to establish Bottoms Up Patient/Family Support Funds to help patients and their families offset health care and other expenses associated with living with IBD. We are dedicated to ensuring that all adults and children can afford their infusions, prescription drugs, medical supplies, rent, utilities and more while seeking remission. Remission is possible!
Our commitment to the IBD community is as fierce as a Titan! We will operate with the following principles as our driving force:
• Highest Ethical Standards
• Excellence in Leadership
We take a grassroots approach, working with city and town leadership to create community-based events that will become annual traditions for years to come. We achieve positive results by forming committees comprised of the local business owners, residents, elected officials, and others to engage the community. Proceeds from our events are in support of local hospitals and physician offices in and around the area where the event takes place to help the local IBD community.
Our executive director, Dawn Zavalishin was named to Women We Admire's Top 100 Women Leaders of Connecticut for 2022. She is also the founder of Bottoms Up and hopes to help patients and their families living with Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis focus on what matters most - remission. Dawn has been living with IBD for over 30 years and has a clear understanding of life with both ulcerative colitis (diagnosed at age 17) and Crohn's Disease (diagnosed at age 31).
Our board members and volunteers range from physicians, entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers, local business owners & staff, students and the list goes on. We are so grateful to everyone for their support!
To view our IRS filings, please visit the IRS Website - Bottoms Up Organization. EIN: 46-3939232
Dawn Zavalishin is the Founder and Executive Director of Bottoms Up, Ms. Zavalishin is an entrepreneur and has owned and operated several successful small businesses prior to founding Bottoms Up. She has worked with several Fortune 50 companies and held key roles in both public and private sectors. She was recently awarded as one of the honorees in Women We Admire's Top 100 Women Leaders of Connecticut for 2022.
Our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jon J. Ernstoff has over 44 years of experience in the medical field. He is board certified in both Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine and is a practicing physician with Connecticut GI, PC. He is affiliated with many hospitals and is currently Chief of Gastroenterology at Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, CT.
Our Chief Medical Officer, Andrew Shrout brings over 20 years of insurance carrier experience in Strategy, Product, and Operations, including an expertise in enterprise transformation, large-scale technology implementations, and reviving latent business units. He is currently President at Bluefire Insurance in Irving, Texas. Andrew holds a BS in Finance from Georgetown College and an MBA from the University of Colorado.
Founder and CEO of Pursant, LLC in Chicago, IL, Mark Herbick is a serial entrepreneur. His businesses have employed from a dozen to 1,400 employees. He's a though leader involved in hundreds of engagements and transactions and has logged experience from Wall Street to boutique firms.
Shari Ann Madho is the Managing Attorney of Legal Advocates, LLC. In 2006, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. In 2007, she began attending law school at Quinnipiac University School of Law, graduating in 2010. Although her symptoms had gotten progressively worse since her diagnosis, she did not let it deter her from her ultimate career goal of being an attorney. She is currently admitted to practice law in the State of Connecticut, State of New York and District of Columbia. She was named “Woman of the Month” by the Professional Organization of Women in Excellence Recognized (“POWER”) magazine.
Dr. Brad Jerson is a pediatric psychologist embedded within the Divisions of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology, & Nutrition and Pediatric Psychology at Connecticut Children's as well as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UConn School of Medicine. He completed his doctoral studies at Fordham University and his pediatric psychology fellowship at the Yale Child Study Center. His primary research and clinical interests pertain to the youth and families affected by chronic medical conditions, including co-occurring complications of school avoidance, medication adherence challenges, and navigating developmental transitions effectively within the context of chronic illness. He is the primary psychologist within Connecticut Children’s Center for Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Lynn S. Olson has held numerous positions within retail, education, dance, and has dedicated many hours to volunteering to various organizations. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1986. In 1996, she had a colectomy and had a temporary ileostomy bag placed. She was informed she would be cured of ulcerative colitis. In 2006, she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Lynn is an advocate for those living with IBD and her insight and passion is a tremendous and valued asset. Lynn is a graduate of Baldwin-Wallace University in Berea, OH with a degree in Liberal Arts. She is married with one son, Preston, that works for Aon Insurance.