Patter Birsic’s determination to create the National Pancreas Foundation, with co-founder Jane Holt, was fueled by the devastating loss she felt at the death of her sister-in-law, Joan Birsic Dawson, at the age of 40 from pancreatic cancer. Some sense had to be made of this incomprehensible event that so deeply affected Joan Dawson’s two daughters (7 years and 5 years old at the time of her death) and the entire Birsic family.
It was fate that brought Ms. Holt and Ms. Birsic together in 1997, at which time they began to share their experiences and frustration with the lack of information and medical progress in the field of pancreas diseases. They decided it was time for a change.
Formerly a Vice-President at Federated Investors, a major mutual fund company based in Pittsburgh, Ms. Birsic brings the tools to address the administrative, legal and operational issues required to create and maintain the Foundation. She is a member of the Women Leaders Initiative United Way program and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities and at her church and school. As Co-President, the National Pancreas Foundation has become a full-time volunteer job for Ms. Birsic, who is notorious for sending e-mails and voicemails during the very wee hours of the morning!
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, skiing and reading books on the beach. She resides in Pittsburgh.