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Addressing Multiple Sclerosis in Communities of Color

Martin M.S. Alliance Foundation

The Martin MS Alliance Foundation’s primary focus will be on its constituents: 

o Historically Under-Represented Populations: Those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented nationally relative to their numbers in the general population, allowing for regional needs and differences. Defined by the Health Resources and Services Administration (2003) as “Underrepresented Minorities” (URM): African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino and any Asian 

o Under-Served Populations: Low-income people of any ethnic background, Elderly, (55 - +), Youth (5-13), Teenagers, (13-21), Young Adults (25-31) - this age group tends to have a health insurance gap. Leaving college no longer being covered by ones parents and not yet having obtained gainful employment with a health insurance plan. 

o Disconnected Populations: Limited English proficient (LEP) populations and sub-populations. Studies of limited-English proficient populations reveal many disparities in quality of care due to impaired exchange of information, loss of language cues that may aid in diagnosis, incomplete patient education, lack of informed consent, less access to services and thus a lower level of preventative care. According to the 1990 Census, approximately 24.2% of families live in linguistically isolated households, in which none of the individuals aged 14 years or older speaks English very well. This percentage is much higher for some AAPI subgroups: 60% of Hmong, 55% of Cambodians, 52% of Laotians, 42% of Vietnamese, 35% of Koreans, and 35% of Chinese. 

The Martin MS Alliance Foundation will also target services towards the organization’s stakeholders,i.e., those with a vested interest in the organization and those the organization serves. 

These stakeholders include: 

o Individuals associated to those with M.S: 

  • Family 
  • Friends 
  • Significant Others 
  • Caregivers 

o M.S. Organizations 

o For-Profit Companies & Federal & Local Government: Disabled workers contribute millions to the bottom line, and provide a crucial point of view for any company. Disabled workers have long been an untapped source of talent, and are expected to play an increasingly vital role in the workplace in coming years. 

o Individuals associated with the M.S. cause (e.g., celebrities associated with M.S. either due to their MS status or as their own personal cause) 

o Medical community 

o General Public - increase overall awareness of M.S., the Martin MS Alliance will also direct education and awareness activities towards individuals in the general public without M.S.