CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic can be even more stressful and overwhelming for people living with chronic illnesses. As a trusted resource for the multiple sclerosis (MS) community, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information, and resources during this time.

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Webinars about COVID-19 and Multiple Sclerosis

  • Streamed live on Monday, May 11, 2020, MSAA’s fourth program in our ongoing series of webinars addressing the COVID-19 pandemic features MSAA’s Chief Medical Officer Barry Hendin, MD and the Chair of MSAA’s Healthcare Advisory Council Carrie Hersh, DO, MSc. These top two professionals provide the latest updates and insights on the coronavirus and its impact on multiple sclerosis. MSAA will also be hosting a fifth program about COVID-19 and MS with Dr. Hendin and Dr. Hersh on Monday, June 8, 2020.
  • As reported in the news, the effects of COVID-19 in the United States has disproportionately impacted the health of racial and ethnic minority populations, especially within the African-American and Hispanic communities. Recognizing the need to address this critically important and urgent health issue, MSAA streamed a live webinar about health disparities in the MS community on Thursday, May 14, 2020 featuring MS expert neurologist Mitzi Joi Williams, MD.

Toll-free Helpline & Chat

MSAA provides a toll-free Helpline that allows individuals with MS, family members, care partners, and friends to speak directly with one of MSAA’s experienced Client Services Specialists. These trained and compassionate individuals have a social services and/or counseling background. However, please note that our Client Services Specialists are not trained medical professionals – any questions related to your medical care should be shared with your physician and clinical care team.

  • Call (800) 532-7667, extension 154. Helpline hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM, EDT.
  • Email [email protected]. 
  • Chat live via your computer through the online chat feature. 

My MSAA Community

My MSAA Community is a free, peer-to-peer online forum for individuals with MS, their families, and their care partners to share information, stories, and experiences with multiple sclerosis. If you’re looking for a way to pass the time, put a smile on your face, or simply connect with someone who understands what you are going through, My MSAA Community is an excellent place to digitally interact with others during this isolating time.

Updates to MSAA’s Program Requirements

MSAA has made several revisions to the MRI Access Fund as well as to our Cooling and Equipment Distribution programs. Each of these three programs requires income eligibility from the applicant’s most recently filed income tax form. Recognizing the immediate financial crisis many families are now experiencing, MSAA has added a COVID-19 economic hardship statement to all three programs to account for this sudden need. Also, depending on the program, certain application documents are now optional if individuals cannot connect with their physician due to stay-at-home restrictions.

To learn more about the free resources pertaining to COVID-19 that are available from MSAA, please visit https://mymsaa.org/covid. Additionally, you may also contact Kaitlyn Gallagher, Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator at (800) 532-7667, ext. 122 or via email at [email protected].

About MSAA  

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including MSAA’s magazine, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring award-winning educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™ (named one of the best multiple sclerosis iPhone & Android apps by Healthline.com); a resource database, My MS Resource Locator®; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; educational programs held across the country; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; a clinical trial search tool; and more. For additional information, please visit www.mymsaa.org or call (800) 532-7667. 

About Multiple Sclerosis  

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord. MS damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves of the CNS, and can potentially injure the nerves as well. This damage causes reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common MS symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, depression and cognitive issues, and various levels of impaired mobility. The prevalence of multiple sclerosis is estimated at nearly one million people nationwide and most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 50. MS is not contagious and researchers continue to look for both a cause and a cure. 

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SOURCE Multiple Sclerosis Association of America