Paul Gross ’84, chair of the Hydrocephalus Association, has been nominated for the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, 2012 Integral Fellows Award, which recognizes meaningful contributions of Microsoft alumni, using time, talent, and resources to improve the daily lives of others in this country and throughout the world.
Gross’s cause began with his son’s birth. Born 10 weeks prematurely, he suffered complications and developed hydrocephalus, excessive fluid in the brain, a condition that affects more than 1 million people in this country. Hydrocephalus can cause severe brain damage, and even death if not treated immediately, yet the standard of care was a shunt device, developed 60 years ago, in 1952, by a father of a child who suffered this condition. The device has a 50 percent failure rate within two years. Furthermore, Gross notes, outcomes for these patients were extremely poor, with 60 percent of survivors not able to live independently as adults.
Working tirelessly on many aspects of this health issue—both at national and local levels—he co-founded what is now a seven-center research network, the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN). Additionally, he became board chair of the Hydrocephalus Association (HA), the largest national patient advocacy organization. Partnering the two organizations, he developed them into the largest private funder of hydrocephalus research. He also entered his cause into the political arena and notes a positive outcome: “Our first success in government advocacy was completed in May, 2012 when, with the help of Representative Rosa DeLauro, we got the National Institutes of Health to begin tracking federal investments in hydrocephalus research,” he says.
Microsoft Alumni Foundation will announce their selection of up to three alumni fellows Oct. 1 at the annual Microsoft Alumni Foundations Celebration event.
For more on the program, with further links to information about Paul Gross, see this link.