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 nationalMSsocietyGNE@nmss.org