Program Notes

MSAA’s Vital Programs and Services Improve Lives Today

By Susan Wells Courtney

MSAA’s Helpline Supports the MS Community

We can all use resources, information, and support in our lives… and MSAA’s Helpline, with its trained and experienced Client Services Specialists, is ready and able to provide these invaluable services when you need them. Whether you are seeking vital resources, have questions about MS – including symptoms and treatments – or are in need of comfort and reassurance, our Helpline Specialists are here to help.

Several thousand members of the MS community reach out to our Helpline each year for assistance and support. If you are in need of information or have questions, please contact MSAA’s Helpline via phone, email, or online chat. Helpline hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 8:00 PM (Eastern). We invite you to call our toll-free number at (800) 532-7667, ext. 154 or connect with our Helpline Specialists through email at

To reach a Spanish-speaking Client Services Specialist, please call (800) 532-7667, extension 131. Para comunicarse con un Especialista de Servicios al Cliente que habla español, llame al (800) 532-7667, extensión 131 o envíe un correo electrónico a El horario de la línea de ayuda es de lunes a viernes, de 8:30 AM a 8:00 PM, hora del este.

MSAA’s Webinars

MSAA hosts a number of educational and supportive webinars throughout the year. All of MSAA’s live programs are hosted by top MS specialists, providing up-to-date, expert information on topics vital to the MS community. To view upcoming webinars and register, please visit our calendar of events at

MSAA’s MSi Video Library

Have you recently visited our full library of MSi (MS information) videos, plus recorded webinars? If not, you may be interested in the vast collection of informative videos and recorded webinars available! Topics range from disease and symptom management to lifestyle strategies to programs addressing health equities and diversity. Several of our webinars and videos are also available in Spanish.

To access this full library of webinars and videos, please visit

MS Awareness Month Recap

Every year in March, MSAA offers a series of educational programs and other vital activities for the MS community, all in recognition of MS Awareness Month.

During March, our programs centered  on “Life with MS: Different Stages of the Journey,” and included podcast episodes and webinars that addressed MS management within different age groups. These stages and areas of focus included pediatric MS, young adults and MS, family planning, and aging well with MS. The programs, which were recorded and are now available on MSAA’s website, are as follows:

Fulfilling MSAA’s Mission through Our Programs and Services

Those of you who are familiar with MSAA, know that we are dedicated to fulfilling our mission of Improving Lives Today through vital services and support. For more than 50 years, we have worked closely with the MS community to identify the most urgent needs and learn how to best address such challenges.

Of significant concern is safety, along with mobility, accessibility, and comfort. MSAA’s Equipment Distribution Program is one of MSAA’s longest running programs, providing a range of much-needed items, from grab bars, shower chairs, and walkers, to wide-grip utensil sets and yoga mats. In addition to safety and mobility, these types of equipment products greatly improve quality of life and enhance activities of daily living.

These items are provided at no charge to those with MS who qualify for assistance and products are shipped directly to the client. MSAA is able to offer equipment items every three years to eligible individuals with MS.

Another urgent need that is very common among members of the MS community stems from an issue known as “heat sensitivity.” When heat and humidity increase, the symptoms of MS often worsen, causing problems such as changes in vision, overwhelming fatigue, extreme weakness, and more. However, research has shown that cooling the body with cooling vests and accessories can reduce the negative effects of heat and humidity on a person with MS.

MSAA’s Cooling Distribution Program offers free cooling vests and accessories to eligible individuals with MS to provide relief from heat sensitivity and the symptoms it causes. Those who qualify may receive cooling products from MSAA once every five years.

When talking about the needs of the MS community, virtually everyone is familiar with the necessity and the expense of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Individuals who meet eligibility requirements and are in need of an MRI to help determine a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis or evaluate current MS disease progression, can receive help through MSAA’s MRI Access Program.

For eligible individuals who do not have insurance or cannot afford their deductible, MSAA will cover the cost of new cranial and/or c-spine MRIs at an imaging center that is under contract with MSAA. For eligible individuals with insurance, MSAA will cover the cost of one’s medical insurance co-pay or co-insurance balance up to a maximum of $750 per new MRI (cranial and/or c-spine).

For eligible individuals who previously had a cranial and/or c-spine MRI, MSAA will cover up to $750 per MRI with a date of service within the past six months of the date of one’s application. MSAA pays the imaging center directly and does not reimburse the client.

MSAA’s 2023-2024 Art Showcase

As previously mentioned, in conjunction with MS Awareness Month in March, MSAA launched our 2023-2024 Art Showcase!

This unique program features a wide variety of beautiful artwork created solely by individuals with MS, along with their personal stories of how art has been a positive influence in their lives. A call for submissions is announced each year in the fall for the following year’s collection.

This year’s 2023-2024 Art Showcase received works of art submitted by more than 50 artists in locations across the country. Accepted mediums include works in oil, watercolor, and acrylic, as well as pastels, pencil, and ink. MSAA also accepts digital artwork, including graphic design and photography.

Each month throughout the year, we highlight one artist and their work. This year’s collection of artwork and personal/inspirational stories may be viewed by going to We hope you will browse through and enjoy these beautiful works of art from this year’s Art Showcase, as well as those from previous years.

Unbroken - Maria Sammartino; Georgia on My Mind - Jennifer Reida
Sally Haas - Stanley Gilbert