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Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant to MS Achievement Center

The MS Achievement Center has tripled its program participation rate since opening in 2014.

The Dignity Health MS Achievement Center, part of the Dignity Health Neurological Institute, has been awarded a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, in support of the center’s programs and services offered to people and their families facing the challenges of multiple sclerosis in Sacramento and the Northern California region. 

This is the second three-year grant awarded to the MS Achievement Center (MSAC) through Mercy Foundation by the Hilton Foundation, which has a long history of generous support for MS programs. The Marilyn Hilton MS Achievement Center at UCLA was established in 2001, in honor of Marilyn Hilton who died from complications of the disease. The Hilton Foundation’s first gift in 2013 provided the necessary startup capital and operational expenses for the Dignity Health MS Achievement Center which opened in February, 2014. 

The MS Achievement Center is the only one of its kind in Northern California. “We are extremely grateful to the Hilton Foundation for its generous gift,” said Dr. John Schafer, medical director of the MS Achievement Center. “This grant will positively impact the health and well-being of people living with MS in the region who attend our core and adjunct programs.”

“Dignity Health and the MS Achievement Center through their programs and services have greatly enhanced the quality of life for MS patients and their families,” said Elizabeth Cheung, Senior Program Officer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. “We appreciate all that they do and are honored that we can give this grant to provide access to day wellness programs for people living with MS in Northern California.” 

A portion of the grant will support a consortium aimed at exploring the benefits of wellness interventions, such as the MS Achievement Center, on other chronic neurological conditions. 

The MS Achievement Center, located 7777 Greenback Lane, Suite 108, in Citrus Heights, offers day wellness programs to maximize the different aspects of their well-being including physical wellness, emotional wellness, cognitive wellness and health education. The center opened offering its core five-hour wellness program once a week on Thursdays. Since then, the center has expanded to offer these core services three days a week and adjunct support programs five days a week. Last year, the MS Achievement Center’s program participation increased by 41 percent. 

“The program’s expansion has been phenomenal and has surpassed expectations,” said Brian Hutchinson, director, MS Achievement Center. “It is truly making a difference in the lives of people living with MS. So many of our MSAC members look forward to coming to the center every week, where they participate in the programs as well as make friends who understand what they’re going through and offer emotional support for each other.”  

In addition to the day wellness programs, the MS Achievement Center offers support partners’ groups, a book club, writing as healing and educational programs focused on financial wellness, nutrition and social support. 

The Dignity Health MS Achievement Center builds on the Mercy MS Center’s long-standing leadership in the treatment of MS; distinguished by a comprehensive team approach and the latest technology. The Mercy MS Center was the first in California to be designated a comprehensive center for MS care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2015, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Landesa, a Seattle-based land rights organization. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion.

About Mercy Foundation 
From 1954 until the end of need, Mercy Foundation has partnered with the community to further the mission of the Sisters of Mercy. Together, we help feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate the underserved, and care for the sick at local Dignity Health hospitals and clinics. To learn more, call (916) 851-2700.


Publish date: 

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

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Lindsay Leszczynski 
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