Mission, Vision, & Our Promise to You
Ensure efficient diagnosis and optimal care for people affected by IC/BPS through advocacy, education, and community.
Mission, Vision, and Our Promise to You!
The Interstitial Cystitis Association (ICA) advocates for research dedicated to discovery of a cure and better treatments, raises awareness, and serves as a central hub for the healthcare providers, researchers and millions of patients who suffer with constant urinary urgency and frequency and extreme bladder pain called IC/BPS, or interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.
Conquering IC/BPS. Changing lives.
The mission of the ICA is to ensure efficient diagnosis and optimal care for people affected by IC/BPS through advocacy, education, and community.
As an organization, we value:
- Evidence-Based Information—We role model best practices and connect our community with science-driven education.
- Hope—We support our community with grace, care, and compassion and with the purpose of improving lives.
- Diversity—We value the broad range of perspectives offered by our community. We believe the unique backgrounds and experiences that inform their contributions to our community add depth and richness to the work that we do.
- Leadership—We strive to be the premier organization serving the IC/BPS community in the United States.
The ICA was established in 1984 to put a face on all those affected by IC/BPS and remains today the only non-profit health association solely dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare and the lives of people affected by IC/BPS. To fulfill its mission, the ICA pursues three core functions:
- Advocacy: By rallying a grassroots network, ICA advocacy efforts empower people affected by IC/BPS around the country and the world, teaching them to become self-advocates for their healthcare needs. In addition, the ICA raises awareness among legislators and government leaders about the need for increased levels of dedicated federal funding for IC/BPS research. The ICA specifically advocates for funding through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore and discover effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for IC/BPS.
- Education: The ICA’s educational programs raise awareness of IC/BPS and empower those affected to change lives. In all efforts, the organization serves as a curator and translator of the most current science-based information on the condition. Importantly, the ICA reach extends to healthcare providers; we work to improve professional educational efforts with the aim of ensuring optimal care with dignity for all people with IC/BPS.
- Community: The ICA provides support communities for those affected by IC/BPS. These communities are places for fostering connection, sharing experiences, and collective growth/learning. The ICA also serves as a powerful connection between IC/BPS healthcare providers, researchers, and those affected by IC/BPS.
The generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations allows us to disseminate current information, continue advocacy efforts, provide support, and offer hope to the millions of people with IC/BPS, as well as the researchers and healthcare providers who strive to improve their quality of life. Learn about the different ways you can give to the ICA.
Each year the ICA summarizes the accomplishment for the last fiscal year in the ICA Annual Report. Thanks to the work of so many, the ICA is making a real difference: Tangible accomplishments include:
- Moving IC/BPS from being thought of as a hysterical women’s disease to a real physical problem
- Putting IC/BPS in the vocabulary of the urologists and other healthcare providers
- Getting dedicated IC/BPS research in the budget of the NIH
- Partnering with CDC to raise awareness
- Funding pilot research identifying biomarkers and the groundwork for potential urine tests
We collect metrics on key initiatives and track our progress in giving a voice and hope to millions of people. For major initiatives, we collect feedback, evaluate programming, survey constituents and reflect on lessons learned—adjusting our approach and strategy as needed to optimize impact.