22 years and counting: MS Activists leave their mark on Capitol Hill
This year marks the 22nd MS Public Policy conference which was held on March 4-6 in Washington D.C. Hundreds of MS activists from every state gathered to urge Congress to support this year’s public policy priority issues. The issues are:
- Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH issue summary)
- Funding for MS research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP issue summary)
- Funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA issue summary)
- Inviting legislators to join the Congressional MS Caucus
An unexpected snow storm, which closed the Federal government on March 6th, cancelled the visits on Capitol Hill. The event was still a success filled with meeting wonderful people from across the country and listening to dynamic speakers. This included former U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (ND) and National MS Society President and CEO, Cyndi Zagieboylo. The National MS Society’s, Chief Research Officer Tim Coetzee, Ph.D. gave an inspiring speech on the exciting research being done by the Society to help stop the progression of MS, reverse the damage and end this disease forever.
“MS Activists from across the country inspired me to continue to help spread awareness about the importance of activism. In sum, this conference and the people I met have reinforced why I advocate for myself and those who can no longer advocate for themselves in putting an end to this often debilitating disease.” Tracy Olson, MS Activist, Greater New England Chapter
A special thanks to current MS caucus members: Senator Susan Collins and Representative Michael Michaud of Maine; Representatives Michael Capuano, Edward Markey and James McGovern of Massachusetts; and Senator Bernard Sanders and Representative Peter Welch of Vermon; and Representative Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire.
Photos from Public Policy Conference 2011
Volunteers Linda Bossi, Sarah Jacoby, and Marcia Akers, with Chapter President & CEO Arlyn White
Ken Jones, chapter board of trustee member; staff from Representative Chellie Pingree’s office; volunteer Marcia Akers; volunteer Linda Bossi; Advocacy Manager Michelle Dickson