The 22nd annual Stanley F. Waterman Research Lecture featured four outstanding speakers who helped people with MS get up to speed on where we are with current research, and where new research is headed.
The four guest lecturers were Dr. Mark Freedman in Marlborough, Mass., Dr. Nick LaRocca in Auburn, Maine, Dr. John Randolph in Meredith, N.H., and Dr. Lloyd Kasper in Killington, Vermont.
Dr. Mark Freedman with Arlyn White, Elise Waterman,
Robert Shapiro, Dr. Linda Buchwald and Dr. Peter Riskind
Dr. Freedman is professor of medicine in neurology at the University of Ottawa, and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit at the Ottawa Hospital, General Campus. His extensive research includes the area of molecular neurochemistry, cellular immunology and clinical studies in MS and is the lead investigator in the Canadian Bone Marrow Transplant Study in MS. His presentation was entitled “Stem Cell Based Therapies: The Promise and Challenges of Treating MS.”
Dr. LaRocca is Vice President of Health Care Delivery and Policy Research at the National MS Society. A clinical psychologist, he was Director of Research at the Research and Training Center for MS at St. Agnes Hospital, White Plains, NY, and Associate Professor of Neurology and Medicine at New York Medical College. His presentation focused on “MS Research You Might Not Know About” and addressed the broad range of research aimed at improving quality of life for those with MS through avenues other than new treatments.
Dr. Randolph provides neuropsychological evaluation and treatment through his private practice in Lebanon, N.H. He completed clinical and research fellowships in neuropsychology and neuroimaging at Dartmouth Medical School, including a National MS Society Postdoctoral Fellowship. He discussed “Cognitive Functioning in MS: An Update on What We Know.”
Dr. Kasper is Professor of Medicine (Neurology), Microbiology, and Immunology at Dartmouth Medical School and Director of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Multiple Sclerosis Clinic. He studies the role of regulatory T cells in MS and their potential for turning off the immune attack. He presented “B cells and T cells in MS: In the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Each lecture was recorded and will be available on DVD from the Chapter’s Dora Lipcon Lending Library.
The Chapter’s 2010 Annual Meeting of Members was a remarkable first-time experience for many Chapter members because it took place in four places at the same time! Altogether, 500 people attended the simultaneous meetings in Auburn, Maine; Marlborough, Massachusetts; Meredith, New Hampshire; and Killington, Vermont. Thanks to teleconference and Internet technology everyone was able to hear and see the presentations during the meeting.
Among the highlights of the Annual Meeting were the Treasurer’s Report, the election of four new Trustees, the election of Board Officers, and the passing of the gavel to a new Chapter Chairman. The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Assistant Treasurer Doug Bryant, who pointed out our low overhead rate of 15 percent, which has held steady for many years, and is particularly impressive considering today’s economic challenges. Also noted was our overall fundraising success of $10.7 million, again an amazing feat when many people are not working or have reduced hours. The fundraising target for Fiscal Year 2011 is $11.1 million.
The Treasurer’s Report also focused on the percent of local spending to provide programming for people who have Progressive MS. Of the monies spent locally on MS education, support, advocacy, and services, 41 percent or more than $1 million was spent specifically to address the needs of people who have Progressive MS. This focus is consistent with the new strategic response of the National MS Society, but it is not new to the Greater New England Chapter. Progressive MS had already become an emphasis for this Chapter, following Eli Lipcon’s leadership.
Four new Trustees were elected to the Chapter board: Paige Magratten is a long-time MS Challenge Walk participant, and an Orton Gillingham reading tutor; Michelle Rubin Pepe is Director of Community Relations for Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture; Michael A. Mingolelli, Jr., Esq. is CEO of Pinnacle Financial Group; and Dr. John Neuhauser is President of Saint Michaels College in Vermont.
After completing his second year as Chairman, Eli Lipcon passed the gavel to incoming Board Chairman Robert Shapiro. Lipcon’s tenure saw the expansion of the Chapter territory and the growth of its revenue and program capabilities. Shapiro is equally focused on growing fundraising while strengthening our mission delivery. A long-time rider in Bike MS Rides, Shapiro was first elected to the Board in 2002.