Tuesday, December 29, 2009

MDA faces $25 million budget shortfall

From WBOY-TV in West Virginia:

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. -- The Muscular Dystrophy Association said it's facing a budget shortfall of about $25 million and it's struggling to develop a balanced budget for 2010.

As of Jan. 1, the MDA will no longer buy new medical equipment for patients, and it will not cover the cost of transportation to MDA clinic appointments, said an MDA spokesperson.

Families dealing with Muscular Dystrophy, like the Rosencrance family in Buckhannon, were recently sent letters about the cutbacks.

They were also sent letters in August, when 21 field offices were closed and 120 MDA staffers were laid off.

Clinic grants have also been reduced by 10 percent, and second and third year grant funding by five percent, said the MDA.

Mary Rosencrance said the latest cutbacks will be hard on people who need equipment like wheelchairs, slings and breathing machines.

"That will have a big effect on everybody because we won't have them to call on. There's other organizations that can help buy equipment, but that's contingent on money available. Sometimes they have money and sometimes they don't," said Rosencrance, whose son Brandon has Duchenne's Disease.

The MDA said it will try to increase the amount of equipment it can loan to people, and it will also help people find other equipment funding and transportation resources.