Over the past nine years, Bob Picone has become a dedicated MS Activist. As Bob’s disability no longer allowed him to be involved in his career, he began to search for a long term commitment. Bob started his journey by volunteering at the Greater New England Chapter. Bob first participated in the York County MS Walk in Maine. He was impressed with the infectious enthusiasm of the staff, volunteers and walkers. Volunteering at the MS Walk event led to chairing the Walk Committee for several years. The passion and commitment of the volunteers influenced him to become involved in numerous chapter activities. Bob participated in MS Bike and Harborfest, the largest charity sailing event in New England. Bob never looked back.
Because of Bob’s outstanding volunteer accomplishments, he was invited to become a member of the Board of Trustees. In 2010, he was recruited to join the Maine Government Relations Committee (GRC) and subsequently become the chair.
Bob focused on building and cultivating this committee and in 2012 the GRC met with their first major success. Under Bob’s leadership, the GRC was at the forefront of the enactment of legislation to stem the tide of rising prescription drug costs. The GRC, working in partnership with the New England Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs, successfully ensured passage of legislation to prohibit the practice of specialty prescription drug tiers. Three members of the GRC joined other consumers, presenting powerful testimony to the Joint Committee on Insurance, and gained media coverage. The bill enacted into law by Governor LePage requires certain insurance carriers who provide prescription drug coverage to add a $3,500/year out-of-pocket limit for consumers
The Maine GRC along with other MS Activists gathered during MS Awareness Week in March 2012 at the State House in Augusta to educate lawmakers about MS and the chapter’s public policy priorities. GRC Chair, Bob Picone, spoke eloquently about increasing awareness of the needs of people with MS. A legislative resolution designating MS Day was presented.
For Bob there is a message from his father that rings true to this day. “Nothing is impossible…the impossible just takes a little longer”.
Oh! By the way, Bob has MS.