Programs & Services Hall of Fame - National Multiple Sclerosis Society

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2014 Programs & Services Hall of Fame

Jeffery D. Haines, PhD

Dr. Jeffery Haines is a post-doctoral research fellow – with research focus on mechanisms of remylination and axonal repair – whose volunteer efforts have had enormous influence on the way the Society approaches research education and awareness locally. His personable speaking style and ability to make research understandable to professional and lay audiences has helped hundreds of constituents understand more about MS research and Society research funding initiatives. Dr. Haines’ commitment to the Society, involvement with the local Government Relations Committee, time as member of the local Clinical Advisory Committee, and specifically his design and implementation of a program to attract students to become the Next Generation of MS Researchers, has shown him to be a remarkable mentor and a strong advocate for the Society’s key strategic goals.

Michele Islas

Michele Islas first came to the Society after her husband was diagnosed with MS; it was through their participation in Walk MS that Michele recognized the need for programs for families with young children. Michele Islas is a devoted wife, a mother of four, and has been a dedicated volunteer since 2005. For the past five years, Michele has been a member of the local Programs Committee and instrumental in developing and implementing both Family Day programs and Walk MS Experience Areas. Michele shares her own experiences to connect with other families and inspire them to tell their own stories. In her words, “MS is uncertain, scary, and frustrating but certainly not hopeless. It’s my wish, that through my volunteer work, I can give others that hope.” Her tireless devotion and commitment to the Society’s mission expands beyond programs to include fundraising and ongoing outreach to families.

Beth Jensen

Beth Jensen is a long-time group leader for the St. Paul “Care-to-Share” MS group and a member of the area coordinator team. She recognizes the value of clubs and groups and is deeply committed to helping people affected by MS connect with one another, with the Society, and with information and resources to live fully and well with MS. Beth has been an information and referral volunteer and was among the first local Tell-a-Peer volunteers, connecting one-on-one to offer support and help address MS-related questions and concerns. Beth has given her time and expertise to the Society for more than 25 years. She’s a talented, thoughtful, caring and dedicated leader who involves and effectively recruits and engages others to volunteer their time, talents and enthusiasm in support of other programs (State Fair outreach, getaways) and fundraising events like Bike MS.

Kathy Mackintosh

Seeking information, Kathy Mackintosh connected with the Society just one month after her diagnosis with RRMS in 2002. She immediately decided she wanted to “do something about MS.” Her volunteer work in Walk and Bike, coupled with a new focus on health and wellness – which included losing 100+pounds and a new exercise regimen at age 54 – propelled her down a path focused on emotional and physical health. Kathy is passionate about educating others, and has used her expertise in health coaching (including related to stress reduction and the benefits of exercise) and her skill in public speaking to teach others living with MS about the disease, provide key updates as a local Research Advocate, and raise awareness about MS. She inspires others like herself who have been diagnosed with MS, as she keeps moving as a Challenge Walker (nine done!), a volunteer in Walk MS and Bike MS, and fundraiser.

Kelly Malucha, RN

As her sister, Wendy, has lived with MS since 1983, Kelly Malucha approaches MS nursing with her head and her heart, helping patients and their families learn about and successfully navigate the network of resources available to them – particularly in financing their medical and prescription needs. Kelly is a passionate spokesperson for the MS movement, representing the Society with warmth, enthusiasm and humor during presentations on MS-related topics ranging from treatment options to successful DIY fundraising to her own personal story. She rallies the rest of the Center for Neurological Disorders staff around fundraising and awareness initiatives, meets with government officials in Washington, D.C., participates in Walk MS, Bike MS and Challenge Walk, and is always willing to share her ideas with others to help them reach their fundraising goals.

Kelly Maxine Michaud

Kelly Maxine “Max” Michaud is a 62-year-young whose strength, dedication, endurance and passion for the mission never falter – she has supported the Society for more than 20 years, even recruiting other volunteers! Max worked as an occupational therapist assistant and now volunteering is her fulltime job. Max creates relationships that become friendships; she is often sought out for peer support through phone calls and emails from across the state. She drives to visit with people who cannot get out, provides transportation to medical appointments for those who need it, and brings others with MS to take part in an assisted skiing program. She started a self-help group in Winslow – now one of the largest and most popular around – and functions as its extraordinary leader. She volunteers at every program and event, talks about the Society in her community and makes sure that every person she connects with knows how they can be involved.

Denise Savarese

For more than 20 years, Denise Savarese has risen to meet the Society’s every local need by offering her time, network, poise and caring attitude. She is resourceful in identifying and utilizing community contacts and shares this knowledge regularly with her peers. Denise has led or co-led several support groups, organized advocacy projects (recruiting 40+ new MS activists), mentored newly-diagnosed individuals, hosted MS Service Days, rallied volunteers, organized health fairs and captained Walk teams. More than 400 people have routinely attended her support group, with an ongoing roster of approximately 75 and attendance of nearly 30 each month; the group is known for its welcoming embrace of new members, and continued visits and connections to members who can no longer attend. Though she rarely takes credit for her efforts, everywhere that Denise goes she is an ambassador for the MS movement and a truly dynamic leader.

Past Programs & Services
Hall of Fame Honorees

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