The National MS Society is working toward a world free of MS. We mobilize people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. To do this, we must be bold and imaginative.
With this in mind and after careful consideration, the Eastern NC and Mid Atlantic Chapters have joined together to serve the 13,500 people living with MS in Eastern NC, Western NC and South Carolina. Our goals are simple: to provide additional programs and services, improve operating efficiencies, raise more money and increase our commitment to MS research.
By consolidating administrative functions and combining the strengths of our boards, staff and volunteers, we can streamline operations and expand our programs and services to people living with MS, their friends and families. This new chapter will have combined staff in offices in Raleigh, NC and Charlotte, NC. To better serve people living with MS in South Carolina, two staff members will focus exclusively on the state. Jeff Furst, the current Eastern NC Chapter president, will serve as the president of our united chapter.
We are extremely excited about this opportunity to better serve you and will continue to provide the outstanding level of service you have come to expect from us as we move forward in striving to achieve a world free of MS. This new chapter will continue to offer resources that enable you to continue moving your lives forward.
Below are some answers to questions you may have. If you would like to speak with someone directly, please call 1-800-344-4867.
1. Why are the Eastern NC and Mid Atlantic Chapters joining forces?
By joining together, people affected by MS in Eastern North Carolina, Western North Carolina and South Carolina will benefit from the depth, experience and stability of a larger staff. Programs and services will be supported by expanded resources and funding. Fundraising expertise will be strengthened to generate increased revenue and administrative and overhead costs will be streamlined so a greater percentage of the money raised in the new chapter will be spent on things that directly benefit our mission.
2. Will there still be an office and staff in Charlotte?
Yes. The office in Charlotte will remain open. The staff in Raleigh and Charlotte have been combined to serve all clients.
3. Who will be the chapter president and where will he/she be located?
The chapter president of the new chapter will be Jeff Furst. Jeff has served as the Chapter President of the Eastern NC Chapter for two years. Jeff’s office is in Raleigh, NC. He has been in Charlotte regularly over the past several months and is meeting many of the people in Charlotte who are involved in the chapter’s work. Jeff is only a phone call or an email away and will spend time in the Charlotte office regularly.
4. What is the new chapter name?
Greater Carolinas Chapter.
5. How will this change affect MS fundraising events in in Eastern NC, Western NC and South Carolina?
The benefits of being part of a larger chapter should help these events contribute even more to the MS community. These events now can be marketed more broadly across the region, which should result in increased participation and growth. It is also expected that there will be corporate synergies within the expanded market area with opportunities for growth in sponsorships and donor development.
6. How will this change affect client programs and services in Eastern NC, Western NC and South Carolina?
Programs and services will be expanded throughout all areas and the increased efficiencies will allow for greater funding. Advocacy at both the state and federal levels will flourish as chapter staff develops specialized skills in this area. Programs will continue to be held in Eastern NC, Western NC and South Carolina. People in all areas will be invited to attend these chapter-wide programs.
7. How will self-help groups be affected?
There are 50 volunteer-led self-help groups in Eastern NC, Western NC and South Carolina. They are critical to furthering the mission and will continue to receive strong support and training from the chapter. Your participation in a self-help group will not be interrupted.
8. What will happen to Mid Atlantic’s Board of Trustees?
Mid Atlantic’s Board of Trustees actively studied several options for the chapter’s future and voted unanimously that the option to join with the Eastern NC Chapter was in the best interests of people with MS. Volunteer leaders in Western NC and South Carolina will remain involved in chapter activities through leadership roles in local communities, the new chapter and across the Society.
9. How can I get to know the new chapter president and management team?
There will be a variety of opportunities to meet with Jeff and the Chapter management team at upcoming Chapter activities. Jeff can be reached at Jeff.Furst@nmss.org or 919-792-1003.
10. Could Mid Atlantic have remained as a separate chapter?
This option was examined by Mid Atlantic’s Board of Trustees. The central consideration was what would be in the best interest of people with MS in Western NC and South Carolina: providing care to people living with MS, connection to all those who seek to join our movement and funding research towards a cure. After 6 months of fact finding and analysis, the Board voted unanimously to join with the Eastern NC Chapter.
11. Are my favorite staff members still working for the Society?
Please view our updated staff list here.