The director of disability policy at the Muscular Dystrophy Association discussed his lecture at AANEM 2023 on how clinicians can advocate for their patients to help improve accessibility and health equity. [WATCH TIME: 7 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 7 minutes
"There is a real lack of understanding and realization of what the current policy barriers can mean for patients with neuromuscular diseases. Another big issue that we are working on is improving the ability of air travel for people that rely on wheelchairs."
Over the past few decades, the neuromuscular disease field has seen several significant strides in the treatment of care for patients. Many of those who may have previously had limited life expectancies now are experiencing a higher quality of life with opportunities in employment and education. Despite the progress, these patient groups still experience challenges with accessibility to treatment and health equity in their daily lives.
At the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) meeting, held November 1-4, in Phoenix, Arizona, Michael Lewis, MA, the director of disability policy at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, presented a lecture on advocating for patients beyond the clinical setting. In his talk, he spoke about how clinicians can advance access to care and improve health equality for patients in the neuromuscular disease community.
At the meeting, Lewis sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the topics and main takeaways discussed in his lecture. He talked about how outdated policies affect patients with neuromuscular diseases in terms of employment and education. In addition, Lewis spoke about the complexities with air travel and wheelchairs, and why a newly introduced bill will improve accessibility for wheelchair users.
For more information on how to get involved in advocacy for neuromuscular diseases click here.