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The Greater New England Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.”


Rhode Island to Join Greater New England

September 3, 2014

The Rhode Island Chapter currently serves approximately 2,000 individuals with MS and their families.
As chapters of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Rhode Island and Greater New England share the Society’s mission, and have worked together for many years to help people with MS and to fund cutting-edge MS research to stop progression, restore function, and end MS forever.  
As of October 1, 2014, Rhode Island is joining the Greater New England Chapter to serve a combined total of more than 21,000 individuals with MS and their families in the five states of Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
This realignment is good news for the MS community in all five states.  By combining the talents of our boards, staff, and volunteers, we will ensure the delivery of programs, services, and advocacy for those living with MS and their families; increase fundraising effectiveness, and improve operating efficiency.
There are three driving goals of this realignment.  First, maintain vital MS education, emotional support, public policy advocacy, and direct services for people affected by MS.  Second, increase our commitment to MS research funding.  And third, improve chapter operating efficiencies and fundraising effectiveness.
The Warwick, RI, office will remain in place.  Local staff and volunteers will continue to deliver programs, services, and advocacy to Rhode Island residents, while partnering with local companies and organizations to ensure that Society fundraising activities carry on their great traditions, even as new opportunities are sought. 
After a successful career as Rhode Island Chapter President spanning 29 years, Kathy Mechnig is leaving the Society on Sept. 30.  Lori Espino is the Greater New England Chapter President, and has been with the Society for more than 12 years.
Several Rhode Island leadership volunteers will continue on as Trustees of the Greater New England Chapter, and will be involved in policy-making and fiduciary stewardship at the board level.
Forging new connections among motivated members of the MS community in Rhode Island, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont makes us a stronger, more unified National MS Society able to move closer to the ultimate goal that we all share—regardless of our state or chapter name—a world free of multiple sclerosis.  
Rhode Island residents may attend an open house on September 18 from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Warwick Office, 205 Hallene Road, Suite 209, to meet Lori Espino and to learn more about the realignment.  In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts and ideas to maximize our new administrative structure and to achieve our unified vision.  Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-344-4867, or

About the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Society’s Greater New England Chapter serves 21,000 individuals and families affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and by contacting the National MS Society at, or 1 800 FIGHT MS (344 4867).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.


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