Up Front: You + MSAA = Helping People With MS

Photo of Gina Ross Murdoch
Gina Ross Murdoch

By Gina Ross Murdoch
MSAA President and CEO

Welcome to fall! As we approach the Thanksgiving season, we are more thankful than ever for the support, inspiration, and dedication of our MSAA family to continue our relentless efforts to Improve Lives Today and every day. So many of you have come together – care partners, volunteers, corporate partners, and others – combining your efforts and expertise with those of our staff and Board to achieve incredible growth and impact in our 2017 fiscal year.

Our Board of Directors continues to evolve and expand with the addition of two new members: Wendy Scott, Esq., who became the eighth Law Dean of the Mississippi College of Law; and Paula Nitto, CPA, CFO for Axis Technologies. We are grateful that these two dynamic leaders have joined our mission. Also in 2017, William Saunders and Timothy Garrett completed their terms on our Board. Both served for many years and left an indelible legacy on MSAA that will serve our members for years to come. We extend our heartfelt appreciation for their time and service.

As we concluded our 2017 fiscal year in the end of June, we reached many notable goals! These include: the full restoration of our MRI program to meet the needs of a maximum number of clients; the distribution of a record number of cooling vests; the growth of our My MSAA Community forum to more than 1,500 active members; the development of our partnership with Antidote, inviting our members to take an active role in cutting-edge research; the advancement of our Navigating MS program toward the publishing of a white paper on the key results of our international risk/benefit program; and the production of our Changing Lives Monday to Sunday video, telling the story of MSAA to thousands across the country. Most of all, our impact on thousands of lives increased across the board.

Looking ahead, our focus is to continue this building momentum of impact and innovation. As we approach MSAA’s 50th anniversary in 2020, we are thinking ahead to how we can exponentially increase the ways we may better assist the entire MS community.

I would like to also acknowledge how thankful I am for the many volunteers who devote their time and talent to raise funds for MSAA and the many services we provide. Without their help, without your help, none of the important activities such as our MRI Access Fund, Cooling program, in-person educational programs, publications like this issue of The Motivator, our Helpline, and so many other services would happen. You will see our volunteers highlighted later in this magazine in honor of their creativity, efforts, and dedication.

You too can be part of the team! Several options are available: participate in Swim for MS, join me in a half marathon, attend our Improving Lives Benefit in March 2018, and/or make a much-needed donation! At this important time of year, I ask and encourage you to be generous with your time and be generous with your support, enabling MSAA to extend that generosity of help to so many struggling with multiple sclerosis in their lives. I thank you in advance for your partnership in Improving Lives Today AND in planning for tomorrow. I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Gina Ross Murdoch is a seasoned executive in non-profit management. Her career includes leadership positions with chapters of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as the American Diabetes Association. Earlier, she spent 14 years overseeing development activities at a large chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, leading explosive growth initiatives and ground-breaking strategic projects. An active member of the community, Ms. Murdoch has held several town positions and volunteers for her college alma mater, Drew University.