Below you’ll find some information the MGA of Western Pennsylvania provided about themselves for the MG community.
When was the MGA of Western PA founded?
MGA of Western Pennsylvania was founded in 1955. Our founder had a young daughter who was living with myasthenia gravis (MG). At that time, there weren’t many groups supporting people with MG, so he established the organization to support his daughter and other families seeking support.
How many people does MGA of Western PA serve?
We have 500+ people living with MG, as well as thousands of caregivers and supporters.
Where does MGA of Western PA operate?
We are in Pittsburgh, PA, and serve 28 counties in Pennsylvania, as well as areas of New York, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.
How to get involved
What resources does your advocacy organization provide to its members, and what can a new member expect when they join?
MGA of Western Pennsylvania provides education and support in a variety of different ways, including a weekly MG clinic. We offer several different education and support group meetings plus a newsletter twice annually, aimed at raising awareness about MG and assisting in sharing out education and fundraising efforts.
Does your advocacy organization include caregivers as members, and if so, how are they involved?
Caregivers are welcome to participate in any programming we offer. We believe caregivers can increase their knowledge about MG to best support their loved ones living with myasthenia gravis.
What are ways that people can contribute to your advocacy organization? Do you have any urgent needs?
Because we are a small organization, we always welcome individuals who would like to volunteer their time and talents to help our cause. We always make an effort to connect people with tasks that best fit their skillset so they feel their skills are being used to the fullest extent.
Raising awareness for myasthenia gravis
Does MGA of Western PA host any annual events to raise awareness for myasthenia gravis?
We have an annual meeting and education symposium every November. We’ve also offered monthly in-person support groups that we hope to restart once it’s safe to do so. We’re currently planning a number of educational events for 2022.
What is the most important message your advocacy organization has for someone living with MG?
You are not alone! Although many times you may feel like no one understands what you’re dealing with when it comes to MG, we’re here to help and support you.
Is there a story you’d like to share about a time your advocacy organization helped members of the MG community?
We believe our staff goes above and beyond for our patients on a daily basis. When asked, they’ve spent hours on the phone with insurance companies, pharmaceutical vendors and other healthcare providers, advocating for our patients. Our staff takes the time trying to get to know all of our patients as individuals and we work hard in an effort to make sure each person’s needs are met.
How have the needs of your advocacy organization and its members changed over time?
The increased use of technology and access to information available to our team and patients has been a big change over time. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to shift most of our patient encounters to virtual visits. This was a difficult transition, but one that was made quickly and effectively by our team.
What is one thing that makes your advocacy organization stand out?
Access to world class physicians and other healthcare professionals ensures that we’re providing the highest level of support to our patients.
Is there anything you wish more people knew about your advocacy organization?
We’ve been around for over 65 years. During that time, we’ve remained steadfast in our mission to provide care and support to individuals living with myasthenia gravis. Although we’re a small organization, we have a large geographic footprint and greatly impact the lives of many people with MG.