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National MS Society Public Policy Conference


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Welcome MS Activists to the Public Policy Conference!

Thank you for participating in the 2020 Public Policy Conference! Make sure you’ve registered for the Conference and reserved your hotel room by February 8th as instructed in the invitation email (except for accessible hotel rooms which must be reserved through Joan Ortt—see below).

When booking your travel to and from the conference please plan to arrive by 2:00 pm on Monday (March 2) and do not book a flight departing before 7:00 pm on Wednesday (March 4). This will ensure you will arrive on time for the start of the conference and will be able to complete all of your Capitol Hill meetings.  

UPDATE: What You Need to Know About Coronavirus

With significant attention surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to make sure you have everything you need to feel safe and prepared for your travels and our time together next week. See below for some helpful tips and where to go for additional information.

When to stay home
Most people who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms, but some people will have more severe symptoms, which can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s recommended you play it safe and stay home, as well as contact your physician.

Tips to protect yourself
The following actions can help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available (we’ll have travel sized sanitizers for each person next week!).
  • Avoid close contact (at least 3 feet away) with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Special considerations for people with MS
Many disease modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS work by modifying or suppressing the immune system. People with MS who are treated with these therapies can face an increased risk of infections. If you are taking a DMT and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed to have this infection, please contact your neurologist or primary care healthcare provider.

Other resources

After the Event

Post-Conference Survey: Help us continue to improve the PPC experience by taking a short survey.

Photos: Download and enjoy photos from the 2020 PPC HERE. The password is NMSS. 

Reimbursement: The Society pays for all costs associated with your attendance. However, some costs such as travel, baggage fees, tips, etc., will need to be paid for up front and reimbursed after the event. If this is a challenge, we can work with you to find  a solution. Contact Joan Ortt at or 303-698-6100 ext. 15158. 

After the event, email your expense form and receipt back up to by APRIL 30th.  If you wish to be reimbursed electronically (and not via check) - through direct deposit - please complete the volunteer direct deposit form as well. Meals that are not part of the meeting agenda will be reimbursed at a reasonable rate not to exceed $65.00 per day and alcohol is NOT reimbursable. Reimbursements can take up to 8 weeks to process due to office closures for COVID-19 - particularly if they are being processed as checks.

Email is prefered, but expense forms can also be mailed to:
National MS Society
Attn: Joan Orrt
900 S. Broadway, 2nd Floor
Denver, CO 80209

After Your Capitol Hill Meetings:

  • Check which dear colleague letters your elected officials signed onto.
  • Send a Thank You to Your Congressional Offices: This is a great time to thank and reconnect with congressional staff. If they signed onto one of the letters above - thank them.
  • One Person Per Meeting Should Complete this Online Feedback Form: Discuss how your members felt about the legislative issues, mention any personal connections to MS you discovered and let us know about any follow-up that needs to be done. 
  • Follow up with the offices you met with regarding important deadlines on dear collegue letters. 

Waiver and Release

Please print, sign, and bring the attached waiver and release with you to the 2020 Public Policy Conference. Printed copies will be available for you to sign at the registration desk at the conference should you not be able to print and sign yours beforehand.

Pre- Conference trainings

2020 PPC What You Need to Know

  • In this training you will learn helpful tips for making the most of the Public Policy Conference, understand how Capitol Hill works, learn more about the new MS Activist app, and how to craft your story as an MS activist.
  • View the slides HERE
  • Watch the recrding HERE

2020 Policy Priorities

  • In this training you will learn about the federal priorities you'll work on in 2020 as an MS activist, including policy priorities activists will take to Capitol Hill for the Public Policy Conference, and the congressional committee process. This training is open to all District Activist Leaders, Government Relations Advisory Committee members, and key advocacy volunteers. 
  • View the slides HERE
  • Watch the recording HERE 

Post-PPC Call

  • Learn about our impact on Capitol Hill and next steps for the Society's priority issues.
  • Watch the recording HERE

Join Virtually

Add your voice the the nearly 300 MS activists in Washington, DC March 2-4 by sharing your story with your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative. A link to a virtual action alert will be available closer to the conference.


Learn more about the conference agenda.

Conference app

Download the free conference mobile app for iPhone and Android to manage your schedule, learn more about your elected officials, view maps and more. Visit to download the app or to visit an online version of the app. 

To download the app from your mobile phone download the "CrowdCompass Attendee Hub" in your app store. Once downloaded search for "MS Activist" to find the conference app.

Capitol Hill visits

Learn About The Issues:

Access to MS Medications Disaster Planning Surprise Billing MS Research Funding

Congressional Support of MS Policy Priorities:

Preparing for Capitol Hill Visits:
  • Research Your Members of Congress: Congressional profiles and your members’ past support of priority issues are available in the Conference App (see above). Or, you can research members through their official websites and look up their committee assignments and support here.
  • Edit and print your own MS Activist business cards. MS Activist business cards should be printed on a business card stock, such as Avery #8371 Printable Business Cards, Inkjet Printers, 2 x 3.5. 
Scheduling Capitol Hill Visits:


  • Download a map of accessible entrances to Capitol Hill.
  • View a list of accessible taxi companies in the DC-area.
  • Contact Society staff /Joan Ortt ( or 303-698-6100 ext, 15158) to discuss and address all accessibility needs including accessible hotel room reservations, scooter/mobility equipment rentals and accessible transportation. 
  • The conference days have breaks but are fairly long. Hill Day on Tuesday in particular requires a lot of walking—so we encourage individuals to consider reserving a scooter through Joan to manage the long distances and fatigue. 
  • Hours: 11:00 am - 4:30 pm


© 2020 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.