Our History

Founded by a Burn Survivor, for Burn Survivors

Founded in 1977, the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury.


Alan Breslau, burn survivor & Phoenix Society founderThe Phoenix Society was founded by Alan Breslau, who was extensively burned in the crash of a commercial airliner in 1963. Following a visit to a young boy in a burn center, Alan realized the importance of peer support for those with burn injuries, and was inspired to establish one of the first burn support organizations in the United States.

After many years of working with burn survivors, Alan officially incorporated the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors in 1977.

For over 30 years, Alan worked tirelessly to expand the burn survivor network from an office in his home in Levittown, Pennsylvania. With modest resources, limited staff, and his great passion to help others, he was able to touch thousands of lives. Alan retired in 1998 and the Board of Directors worked hard to raise the necessary funds to hire an Executive Director. Our vision was to fulfill Alan's dream of serving as a national resource center for burn survivors and burn care providers.

Today, the Phoenix Society is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury.  VALUES are core to the way in which The Phoenix Society conducts its business, leads collaborative partnerships and strives to be agents of change:

  • Integrity:  We conduct business with honesty and in a forthright manner to uphold the principles, standards, and interests of the organization.
  • Innovation:  We take intelligent risks, embrace learning, and strive to be change agents to achieve greater impact and to respond to our community needs.
  • Collaboration:  We invite and empower diverse, strong, talented teams and partners that humbly work together to accomplish great things—to be stronger, together.
  • Respect- We create inclusive environments by embracing differences, cultivating dignity and acting with compassion and responsibility.

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