The MS Movement in Alaska and Western and Central Washington will become even more dynamic in January with the formation of the Greater Northwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Since the early 1990s, Alaska’s MS community has been part of the Society’s All-America Chapter, which consists of 15 states and regions with sparse or rural populations from as far away as West Virginia to Hawaii and in between.
Now, the close relationship between Alaskans and Washingtonians has led to the creation of a new, expanded Chapter that will better serve the estimated 10,000-plus people living with MS in both states.
“Many people in Alaska have connections to people in the Seattle area, so it’s a union that makes sense. We are all part of the greater Northwest,” says Tim Reed of Soldotna, who has represented the state on the All-America Chapter Board of Trustees.
Mike Irmen of Eagle River, another Alaskan on the All-America Chapter Board, agrees that “this is a very positive move for people in Alaska.”
“We’ll now have access to even more resources to make life better for people with MS and their families,” Mike explains.
Offices in Anchorage and Seattle will continue to serve as the hubs of programs, services, events, advocacy, research updates and other resources for those with MS, their family members, friends, physicians and caregivers. Each state also will continue to sponsor events that give residents the opportunity to support local programs and services along with research into MS treatments and a cure.
“We are looking forward to learning about each other and finding new ways to work together more effectively and efficiently to serve people living with multiple sclerosis and to help achieve the vision of a world free of MS,” said Chapter President Patty Shepherd-Barnes.
Learn more about the Greater Washington Chapter.
Look for more information on January 4 in our new combined Greater Northwest Chapter website: www.msnorthwest.org .