About Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan
In the fall of 1975, a few Myasthenia Gravis (MG) patients in the Grand Rapids area became acquainted. Through the insights gained by sharing with others with MG, the interest to start a local chapter evolved. The desire to educate patients, their families and the public about this autoimmune neuromuscular illness contributed in this decision. The need to re-alert the medical profession and support research to find new treatment methods and the cause and cure of the illness were also supporting factors. We began with a nucleus of 18 patients which has grown to over 500 patient members.
In April 1976, the Great Lakes Chapter received its charter from the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America, Inc. (MGFA), a national non-profit 501(c)3 organization formed in 1952 to support research to discover the cause and cure of MG, and to distribute information about the illness. Headquartered in New York City, MGFA originally supported over fourteen chapters and multiple support groups throughout the United States.
The Great Lakes Chapter activities were coordinated from a patient's home until 1987 when a local company donated office space. In 1988 the first part-time staff person was hired, and ten years a full-time Executive Director came on board.
In May of 2015 the MGFA voted to reorganize, dissolving the Chapter structure. The Great Lakes Chapter Trustees elected to separate from the national organization to maintain support throughout the state as it has for the previous 39 years. Receiving approval from the State of Michigan to become a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the organization became the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of Michigan (MGMI).
Today MGMI's part-time director and elected Board of Trustees provide support and governance with advice from its Medical Advisory Board. Support meetings are held in several locations throughout the Michigan providing opportunities for patients, their families and friends to learn about the illness and share tips on living with the condition. A variety of educational materials are available to patients, the public and medical professionals. A Foundation newsletter features local and state activities, and medical and or patient oriented articles. Trained volunteers are available to assist newly diagnosed patients in adjusting to their illness and for in-hospital visits.
As a self-sustaining non-profit organization, the MGMI depends on donations and fundraising activities to sustain Michigan patient services, awareness, education and research.
Please contact us if you would like more information about myasthenia gravis, our foundation operations or volunteer opportunities.
Board of Directors
President:Howard H. Hansen
Vice President:John Beal
Trustees:James Booth Burr, Jr.
Dr. Christopher Glisson
Esther M. Land
Evelyn Navarro, M.D.
Amit Sachdev MD
Susan Woolner contact us
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2660 Horizon Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546