With the award of a generous grant from the Variety Children’s Charity of Southern California, OMF is proud to announce the launch of TEACH M.E., an education, outreach and awareness program to benefit children with ME/CFS.
OMF received this grant to begin to focus on one of our other top priorities, namely education and information dissemination. TEACH M.E. has two principle objectives:
- Increase awareness to pediatricians and physicians who treat children regarding ME/CFS.
- Increase awareness of ME/CFS with administrators and school nurses for middle and high schools.
ME/CFS parent advocate, Mary Dimmock, will lead this effort. Mary retired from the pharmaceutical industry shortly after her son became ill with ME/CFS in 2010. She is the author of Thirty Years of Disdain, an in-depth analysis of the history—and lack of government response to—this disease over the last thirty years. Recently, Mary co-authored Estimating the disease burden of ME/CFS in the United States and its relation to research funding to encourage NIH to increase research funding.
In addition, Scientific Advisory Board member, Dr. David Bell, a ME/CFS Pediatric pioneer, will co-facilitate and help to implement this effort in collaboration with other specialists who have already gathered much of the appropriate materials for this purpose. We are confident that Mary and Dr. Bell will ensure this is a top notch program benefiting our most vulnerable patients, our children.
Through this new program, OMF hopes to help many children and their families avoid misdiagnosis and misunderstood symptoms causing undue emotional and physical pain. We plan to disseminate information to physicians via email and at conferences. In addition, we recognize school nurses are typically the first to see children suffering from ME/CFS. If school nurses are able to recognize the symptoms of the disease early on, they can greatly improve the chances of successful management of educational activities for the child. This program will launch in Southern California and then expand as available.
OMF is aware that many children suffering from ME/CFS have a tremendous battle to climb to successfully receive their education. We plan to provide recommendations for appropriate accommodations to help children succeed.
This important work is possible due to the generous support of Variety Children’s Charity Southern California and the tireless efforts of so many others who have prepared materials that will be utilized for this purpose (all will be acknowledged once materials are prepared). Variety is dedicated to inspiring hope, enriching lives and building a better future for children. As part of their mission, Variety is dedicated to providing lifesaving support for disabled, abused, physically-challenged and underprivileged children, all important and too neglected in ME/CFS.
The BRF FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
Furthering our commitment to education, OMF is proud to announce that we have partnered with the Blue Ribbon Foundation (BRF) to provide funding for the Blue Ribbon Fellowship program. The BRF Fellowship is an annual program, which began in 2015. The Fellowship provideed the funds for 3 first-year medical students at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine to spend their summer studying ME/CFS under the direction of the world-renowned ME/CFS expert Dr. Nancy Klimas, and her pioneering staff at the Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine (INIM).
For summer 2017, OMF and BRF are proud to continue working with INIM to bring 3 more students to work in exploring this devastating disease. Among its recent successes, the Blue Ribbon Fellowship helped build a semester-long elective seminar on ME/CFS for Nova’s medical students as well as positioned students for prestigious year-long fellowships with the INIM lab.
We’ve been truly impressed with the caliber of young, dynamic thinkers coming out of the fellowship program. We’re looking forward to continuing to build the next generation of ME/CFS experts who can tackle this disease and can’t wait to hear about the accomplishments of this summer’s fellows!
We welcome your support to help promote education and research, please donate.