Mission, Vision & Values

About Us

The National Scleroderma Foundation’s mission is to advance medical research, promote disease awareness, and provide support and education to people with scleroderma, their families and support networks.

Our vision is to be a relentless force in finding a cure and improving the lives of people affected by scleroderma.

Strategic Goals

As we find ourselves in an ever-changing world, we are re-thinking the way we plan for our future. We are more interested in strategic thinking than strategic planning. Strategic thinking is how we set our course for the future by bringing our leaders and stakeholders together to examine our current realities and use this information to define a shared vision for the future. This allows us to consider our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities against our available resources. With this in mind, we convened our leaders at our annual Leadership Day in 2022 to synthesize our goals for the coming year and help define strategy around them. These include:

  • Ensure access to programs and services for everyone in our scleroderma community, regardless of where they are geographically, or in their diagnostic journey.
  • Design and deliver an intentional organizational culture in which everyone can share openly and engage authentically
  • Increase funding to support increased investment across all 3 mission pillars (education, support, and research)

Stakeholder Updates

Attend quarterly stakeholder updates presented by CEO Mary J. Wheatley, IOM, CAE. Learn about progress in our exciting work to strengthen our organization and to build capacity for growth in support of individuals affected by scleroderma, to expand our education programs, and to build greater resources for research funding. Recordings of past updates are listed below and are saved to the Foundation’s YouTube channel.  To receive notifications of future stakeholder updates, subscribe to the Foundation’s weekly eLetter.

The next quarterly stakeholder update will be October 25, 2023. You can sign up now.

Recordings of Quarterly Updates:

Our Culture

The Foundation wouldn’t be here without the extraordinarily talented staff and volunteer team, and a dedicated scleroderma community. Much of our success to date can be attributed to the special connections members of our community have forged with one another over the years, including those diagnosed with scleroderma, and those who diagnose and treat the disease. We stand on the shoulders of giants who have made it their life’s work to find a cure, and we are proud to carry on that legacy.

To help us think about how to honor this legacy, how we can do our best work together, as well as who will work best with us, we had to think about the values that have served us well so far – and those we aspire to – and write them down.

At the Foundation, we are a relentless force in finding a cure and helping those with scleroderma live better, and it shows in everything we do.

We invite members of our community, leadership, and team into our culture in an intentional way. We are accountable to one another for keeping in alignment with our culture, and for measuring our alignment with these agreed-upon values. As we grow, we will continue to revisit and make sure these still hold true. As we encounter challenges along the way, we will evaluate whether we’re living inside the culture we designed for ourselves or if we need to adjust to incorporate new values that reflect higher standards.

Our Culture

We share a commitment to our mission, which inspires us to always do our best.

We take care as a team to build connection and foster trust with each other.

We lead with integrity.

We steward a community in which everyone can share openly and engage authentically.

Our values

  • We CARE for our community, and for one another

We are interested in and concerned for the health and wellness of those impacted by scleroderma, and we work toward a shared mission every day to advance medical research, promote disease awareness, and provide support and education to people with scleroderma, their families and support network.

  • CONNECTION is our superpower

We build connections within our team, and within our community to strengthen our collective impact. We connect people with the part of our mission that matters most to them and help them find the resources to find their best path.

  • We believe there is power in DIVERSITY

We know that our greatest strength comes from our people – our staff team, our leadership, donors, and those who make up our scleroderma community. We embrace the unique ideas and perspectives each member of our community brings to the Foundation with the confidence that it makes us better.

  • INTEGRITY is non-negotiable

We stand on a foundation of integrity, which is the essential ingredient in everything we do. We are honest and straightforward. We communicate with transparency. We do the right thing, even when no one is watching.

  • MEANINGFUL WORK drives us

We believe in the mission and vision of the organization, and it drives us to do our best every day, in service of those impacted by scleroderma. We can recruit the best and brightest because of our culture, and our devotion to servant leadership.

  • TRUST is imperative

We know we can count on one another to deliver what we say we will, and we know we can hold one another accountable, even in difficult seasons.

We embrace BRAVING1 as a roadmap for fostering trust.

  • Boundaries – Clear about what is okay/what is not okay & why
  • Reliability – Do what you say you are going to do … over & over again
  • Accountability – Own your mistakes. Apologize. Make amends
  • Vault – Acknowledge & hold confidences
  • Integrity – Choose courage over comfort; choose right over what’s fun, fast or easy; practice your values (don’t just profess them)
  • Non-Judgement – Allow people to be in struggle & ask for help without judgement
  • Generosity – Assume the most generous things about other’s words, intentions & behaviors


1 Brown, B. (2018). Dare to lead. Vermilion.