#MEAction Maryland is led by Melinda Lipscomb and Whitney Fox, both PwME (persons with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) that was triggered by the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. Started in the summer of 2020, our Chapter includes members throughout the State encompassing PwME of varying severity, caregivers, and family members engaging in grass-roots efforts to have ME and complex-chronic illnesses as widely and easily known and recognized as other illnesses and diseases.
As the COVID pandemic continues, it threatens to triple the number of Marylanders with ME/CFS, making it all the more imperative that the State takes action to address ME/CFS.
Our purpose is to grow a Maryland coalition of people with ME, similar complex-chronic illnesses and allies to organize actions, develop outreach, and form a community.
Here are the wins our Chapter had within its first year:
- Collaborated with Healthcare justice organizations and coalitions to pass bi-partisan bills for medical debt protection and funding Health Equity Resource Communities (HERCs) through 2023, including submitting written testimony and virtually meeting with State legislators.
- Joined the Maryland Health Justice Task Force’s COVID Forum to speak about Long COVID and viral-triggered illness, getting them to add Long COVID awareness and care to their mission.
- Started a monthly community support meeting.
- Co-chair joined the PM Health Justice Task Force on meeting with Senator Cardin’s office to ask for support of Long COVID/chronic post-viral illness (specifically ME) direct support funding (to CDC, agency collaboration and for clinical care) in the 2021 COVID relief package. She also advocated for vaccine access for homebound disabled persons under 65.
- Co-Chair attended & graduated from the first #MEAction Activist Camp
- Members supported the LONG COVID ALLIANCE
- Co-chair represented ME/CFS & comorbidities in Congressional advocacy meetings for Rare Disease Day 2021
- Submitted and received a State Proclamation for ME Awareness Month May 2021
- Received County and City Proclamations for ME Awareness Day May 12, 2021 from Anne Arundel County, Annapolis City, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Harford County, Montgomery County, and Takoma Park City.
- 11 Chapter members participated in Congressional advocacy meetings on ME/CFS DC Advocacy Day
- Partnered with Solve ME for the 2021 ME/CFS & Long COVID Advocacy Week Kickoff, featuring a video from #MEAction Maryland chapter members and introduction of Rep. Raskin by a member & chapter co-chair
- Held our 1st local #MillionsMissing virtual event – REST FEST: Tea Party for ME garnering support from Blue Sunday participants. Even a #PwME from Scotland joined!
- Co-chair was interviewed by MakeGoodTogether for a Blue Sunday #MEAction fundraiser chat
- Created ME/CFS Awareness postcards & distributed to members to give out at clinician offices, places of treatment, and to folks experiencing on-going issues after acute illness, etc.
Monthly planning meeting – We meet the first Tuesday of the Month at 7pm ET.
Monthly community support meeting – We meet the third Tuesday of the Month at 4pm ET.
For more information including video conference link and call-in numbers please look on the #MEAction Events calendar for our upcoming call and join details!