Friday, September 7, 2012


Last week we shared pictures of August Recess visits from the Society’s South Central Region (click here to see those pictures).  Today, as August Recess comes to an end, we have more pictures from MS Activists elsewhere in the country who spent the last month meeting with legislators to discuss the following funding priorities of the MS community: MS Research funding in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP); funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and funding for the Lifespan Respite Care Program that supports family caregivers.  Although it appears that Congress will delay establishing final funding levels into early next year by passing a “Continuing Resolution,” these visits by MS Activists are essential for keeping legislators informed on issues important to the MS community.

August Recess provides many different opportunities for MS Activists to meet with legislators including visits, Town Hall Forums, and events throughout the state.   

In Florida, Jenna Paladino, the Society’s Director of Public Policy in the state, met with Representative Michael Burgess (TX-26)—Co-Chair of the Congressional MS Caucus—at a Healthcare Town Hall Forum.

In Pennsylvania, MS Activists had a chance to meet with Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8).  Representative Fitzpatrick (left) met with Society Greater Delaware Valley Chapter Board Member Valli Baldassano (Center), and Karen Mariner, the Society’s Vice President of Advocacy for Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Further West in Colorado, MS Activists met with Representative Mike Coffman (CO-6).  Pictured above from left to right are Allie Moore (National MS Society Colorado-Wyoming Chapter Staff), Representative Coffman, MS Activist Alison Jones, and MS Activist Sheryl Goodman.
MS Activist Yvonne Brown attended a Women’s Equality Day luncheon and had an opportunity to connect with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Senator Ben Cardin (MD). We’ve talked about Yvonne’s past testimony and great activism that helped get advanced forms of MS added to Social Security’s Compassionate Allowances Initiative.

MS Activist Yvonne Brown with U.S. Senator Cardin

MS Activist Yvonne Brown with U.S. Representative Hoyer

These in-district visits are definitely paying off!  Over the past few weeks, Representatives Mike Coffman (CO-6), Frank Guinta (NH-1) and Steve Scalise (LA-1) have all joined the Congressional MS Caucus!  This brings our total membership to 159 U.S. Representatives! Click here to see if your members are on the Caucus.  Thank you, Representatives!

As the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate reconvene in D.C. next week, you can still send us pictures from your August Recess visits by sending them to! Thank you to the MS Activists who took time to meet with their legislators and shared their pictures!  You are all contributing to creating a world free of MS!

1 comment:

Leslie DeLorenzo said...

Yvonne Brown's testimony last year before the SSA spurned me into becoming an activist/advocate for MSer's as I have too struggled to get my own disability benefits. Thank goodness for her and others like her as well as the MS Congressional Caucus, but we must still keep fighting to include ALL types of MS for a Compassionate Allowance Designation!