Recently launched by the non-profit Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (MSF), MSFocusRadio.org is the first online radio station for the MS community, designed to increase awareness of the disease and provide continuing health-related education for the MS patient population.
According to the new radio station’s website, “The mission of MS Focus Radio is to empower those affected by MS with the information necessary to make the most complete and educated decisions concerning their health.” However, the new effort is not meant to become a direct source of medical advice for MS patients, but rather a real-time informational source that can keep those who are suffering with the disease informed about the latest research and treatment options: “We do not advocate nor endorse any specific treatments, healing modalities, or practitioners,” the radio station notes. “The material presented is for informational purposes only – for specific advice, consult a healthcare professional.”
The round-the-clock broadcast will focus on motivation, education, and empowerment for people affected by the disease. The programming for the station will not only include original content produced by the MSF, but also audio versions of relevant books and magazine articles, as well as inspirational music. It is also available as an app for Android and iOS devices.
“Because people with MS tend to have visual impairment — they lose their vision or it can come and go — we are always looking to incorporate alternative forms of communication” in addition to magazines or other reading materials, explained Kasey Minnis, director of operations and communications. The chronic disease of the central nervous system affects about 300,000 to 400,000 people in the United States.
The Foundation, which was founded in 1986, has about 40 full-time employees on staff, and at least 100 more part-time staffers who offer support to MS patients. Last year’s budget for the Foundation was about $8 million, according to Minnis.