Just a few months into my role as MDS President, we have already begun to take action on 3 important areas of focus.
1. Global equity of access to care
MDS continues to participate in advocacy surrounding brain health and awareness:
2. Increasing MDS engagement with patients and carers
People living with movement disorders face a vast spectrum of complications, and it’s important that we center their priorities and needs not only in care, but also in research.
MDS incorporates patient feedback into many of its initiatives, including the development of clinical outcome assessments, but it’s important that we continue to integrate patient input into more of our processes.
To help elevate patient voices, MDS’s second annual World Movement Disorders Day campaign featured incredible stories of people living with movement disorders, who shared their experiences. The social media reach of this campaign doubled from its inaugural year, bringing awareness about these conditions to more than 7 million people.
3. Increasing the representation of regions
As one of only two MDS Presidents from the Asian and Oceanian region, I know how important it is to open the door for more diverse engagement with MDS and its activities. We are fortunate to have committed and talented members from around the globe who would like to contribute to the goals and missions of the MDS. MDS is now approximately equally represented in membership numbers by the AOS, ES, and PAS regions, and the African Section, only formally established over the last few years, has been increasing its membership rapidly. By focusing on representation, the Society has grown into a truly global organization — but there is still some imbalance in representation in leadership and MDS committees that will only change if we continue to take an active role in increasing engagement across the regional sections.
An important cornerstone of this growth will be maintaining our strong base of online education. In 2024, MDS’s regionally focused course slate will include a broad range of both in-person and online offerings, in addition to our growing library of up-to-date on-demand modules.
MDS will also continue to support other local education efforts with Outreach Education funding, supported and endorsed meetings, and through our expansive partnerships with local affiliates and organizations.
I look forward to the growth of these initiatives during my coming term and beyond, and hope you will join me in continuing these efforts.