MDA Hosts Facebook Live Event on ALS and COVID-19 on May 1

MDA Hosts Facebook Live Event on ALS and COVID-19 on May 1
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The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is hosting a Facebook Live event on May 1 concerning precautions and best practices needed to protect the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) community during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The half-hour event, which kicks off ALS Awareness Month, is to begin at 3 p.m. EST, and will give patients and caregivers globally an opportunity to question a pair of neuromuscular disease experts. It will cover topics related to preparedness, community impact, telemedicine, and MDA care and resources.

Leading up to the event, the MDA welcomes questions from the ALS community on its Facebook page.

“The conversation aims to provide the answers to care questions families urgently need in these uncertain times, when this community is among the highest at risk for COVID-19,” the MDA states in a press release.

The event will feature Matthew B. Harms, MD, the MDA’s medical consultant and a member of its recently formed Medical Advisory Team. He’s also a Columbia University associate professor of neurology and a leading voice in ALS and neuromuscular disease research and care.

Joining the virtual conversation will be Kristin Stephenson, MPH, JD, MDA executive vice president, Chief Advocacy & Care Services. She oversees the nonprofit organization’s Care & Clinical Services division, which includes the MDA’s Care Center Network, National Resource Center, and Care & Clinical Services field team. Stephenson also leads the MDA’s Public Policy & Advocacy department.

“While precautions for cancer patients, older adults, and those with conditions that affect respiratory health exist, there is a lack of information specific to people living with ALS, and their caregivers,” the MDA said. “This conversation and Q&A aim to bring those concerns to light.”

The event is accessible here. A video recording will be available for viewing on the MDA’s COVID-19 resource page, which will also regularly update patient and caregiver guidelines.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is one of the largest funders of ALS research and care, and offers virtual programming, advocacy, and resources including facts about ALS.

ALS is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that is estimated to affect 5 of every 100,000 individuals in the United States, where roughly between 15,000 and 20,000 people live with the disease.

Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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Ana holds a PhD in Immunology from the University of Lisbon and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Instituto de Medicina Molecular (iMM) in Lisbon, Portugal. She graduated with a BSc in Genetics from the University of Newcastle and received a Masters in Biomolecular Archaeology from the University of Manchester, England. After leaving the lab to pursue a career in Science Communication, she served as the Director of Science Communication at iMM.
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Mary M. Chapman began her professional career at United Press International, running both print and broadcast desks. She then became a Michigan correspondent for what is now Bloomberg BNA, where she mainly covered the automotive industry plus legal, tax and regulatory issues. A member of the Automotive Press Association and one of a relatively small number of women on the car beat, Chapman has discussed the automotive industry multiple times of National Public Radio, and in 2014 was selected as an honorary judge at the prestigious Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance. She has written for numerous national outlets including Time, People, Al-Jazeera America, Fortune, Daily Beast, MSN.com, Newsweek, The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. The winner of the Society of Professional Journalists award for outstanding reporting, Chapman has had dozens of articles in The New York Times, including two on the coveted front page. She has completed a manuscript about centenarian car enthusiast Margaret Dunning, titled “Belle of the Concours.”
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