Nearly 1 in 10 Americans estimated to be living with a rare disease and there are over 7,000 known unique rare diseases. Florida established the RDAC in June 2021 to assist the Department of Health in providing recommendations to improve health outcomes for individuals residing in the state who have a rare disease.
As one of 20 representatives on Florida’s newly created RDAC, Wadhawan and his colleagues will work to improve health outcomes for those with a rare disease by making recommendations to state leaders on critical issues, including the need for increased awareness, diagnostic tools and access to affordable treatments and cures.
“The formation of a council like this, which is comprised of individuals from different disciplines, with their own expertise and perspective of this area, will help advance the agenda for these patients at the state level,” Wadhawan said. “The combined expertise of the members of this council, who are all volunteering their time for this cause, will work with Florida’s government officials to remove common obstacles that rare disease patients face, such as delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis, lack of treatment options, high out-of-pocket costs and limited access to medical specialists.”
All council members are appointed positions with a four-year term. The RDAC is composed of 10 members appointed by the Governor, five members appointed by the Florida President of the Senate and five members appointed by the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Working together, this council will help shape the state’s medical landscape for the care of individuals with rare diseases.
The National Organization for Rare Disease (NORD) launched Project RDAC in November 2020 to help address barriers that prevent individuals living with rare diseases from obtaining proper treatment and care for their conditions.
In June, Florida became the 19th state to pass legislation creating an RDAC, with Senate Bill 272 and House Bill 1373 being signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. Two more states have since followed in establishing their own rare disease advisory councils, bringing the total number of states with an RDAC to 21.
Wadhawan attended medical school and residency at Government Medical College in Amritsar, India. He completed his fellowship at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. He also earned a master’s degree in medical management from Carnegie Mellon University and is board certified in medical management by the Certifying Commission for Medical Management as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE). Additionally, he’s a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-Board of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.
Wadhawan will serve in this statewide post through September 2025.