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Ed Rapp and Peter Warlick: From the ground to the air, these two forces are helping to change the world for ALS patients.

In 2015, Ed Rapp and Peter Warlick travelled on parallel paths that ultimately intersected at Johns Hopkins and the Packard Center. In late 2015, Ed Rapp was a Group President of Caterpillar, Peter Warlick was a Vice President at American Airlines. Both men were rising to the top of their career paths, when, just months apart, they were diagnosed with ALS. They both met with Dr. Jeff Rothstein separately as patients, but it was clear that they wanted the same thing: to leverage their experience in big business to raise money and drive progress in the field of ALS research. Importantly, they also had the opportunity to befriend another former Hopkins patient, Jay Fishman, the CEO of Travelers.

Rapp and Warlick both leaned into their disease, building on the legacy of the late Jay Fishman and his patient-oriented vision. They have used their strong business acumen, leadership skills, and creativity to bring change to the landscape so that future ALS patients might have a more hopeful outlook. 

Rapp launched the Stay Strong vs ALS Foundation and Warlick rallied the aviation community and launched Aviators Against ALS. Together, these two very determined ALS patients have rallied their personal and professional networks and have raised just over $12M to fund the Packard Center’s Answer ALS program.

At this year’s Partners in Collaboration, Ed Rapp and Peter were awarded the Dr. John W. Griffin Innovator Award.  The award is named for Dr. Jack Griffin, the former chair of Neurology department at Johns Hopkins whose vision and innovation helped the Packard Center become a reality.  Dr. Griffin passed away several years ago, but his spirit of innovation and pursuit of solutions that were bold and “outside of the box” continue to inspire everyone who knew him.  And this spirit is what the Packard Center celebrated through this award, which recognizes those who are willing to be bold in pursuit of a big, ambitious idea, making these two forces the perfect recipients.

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