We are thrilled to announce that the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has just awarded the National MS Society $2,100,000 in research grants to support two very different research projects: the first aimed at helping people who are living today with progressive MS; and the second targeting new innovative therapies and diagnostic strategies.
MS Adult Day Programs Study
Multiple Sclerosis Adult Day Programs (MSADPs) represent a promising long-term care service that can help participants with progressive MS to maintain their quality of life; improve social, emotional and physical wellness; provide respite for family caregivers; and possibly reduce health care utilization and long-term health care costs. Benefits of participating in these programs, such as the REACH to Achieve program at The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA, have been reported anecdotally, but controlled evaluation studies are lacking. In order to make these services more widely available and improve their funding, it is essential to conduct scientifically rigorous and comprehensive cost-benefit studies of the MSADP model. Such studies will provide the information that policy makers and health care professionals need to make critical decisions that could allow these programs to reach their potential.
The Hilton Foundation provided the lead funding to establish The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA, which celebrates its 14th anniversary this summer. They continue to generously support the Center so that people with MS in the Greater Los Angeles area have the support they need. The Foundation’s new $1 million grant will support this MSADP study; findings will be vital to expansion and quality improvement of these programs nationwide.
As a driving force of MS research to stop MS in its tracks, restore function already lost, and end MS forever, the National MS Society takes a unique, comprehensive approach to our research efforts. Often, the biggest hurdle in moving potential treatments forward is securing the necessary early investments and resources for commercial development. The Society continues to propel promising new therapies by breaking down these barriers to commercial development through Fast Forward, its commercial research program. We drive connections of all the resources necessary to ensure that promising treatments move through the research pipeline.
Since its founding in 2007, Fast Forward has deployed over $14 million to 33 therapy and diagnostic development programs. This new $1.1 million grant from the Hilton Foundation will be used to support up to five new projects using aggressive approaches and strategies that will speed the movement of promising treatments from the lab to people with MS.
“This is another significant step forward for the National MS Society in our quest to serve and treat people with MS. With these two research investments the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is once again demonstrating leadership. We are grateful to the Hilton Foundation and Hilton Family,” said James D. Power IV, Chapter Trustee and NOW Cabinet Member.
Foundation President & CEO Steve Hilton said, “My dad, Barron Hilton, often said how difficult and demanding it can be for a person with severe MS, even if the family can afford to provide the best medical care available. And, how much more difficult it must be if you can’t afford a lot of help.” Thinking of his mother Marilyn who had MS, he continued, “When someone you love is afflicted with MS it opens your heart to the suffering that others go through, so you feel it’s important to reach out and help others that are going through a similar struggle. And so – we opened our hearts.”