Major Agencies - Other voluntary health agencies

In addition to those voluntary health agencies that are members of the National Health Council, many other organizations function on a national scale and offer specialized services as well as literature and guidance to professionals, patients, parents, and concerned families. The following is a partial list.

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services , 475 Riverside Drive, New York, New York 10115; (212) 870-3400, is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences and give each other support in overcoming the problem of alcoholism. Chapters exist throughout the country and offer referral services, literature, and information about special hospital programs.

Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters , Inc ., 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454-5617; (888) 425-2526; is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous, but cooperates closely with it. Al-Anon, which includes Alateen for younger members, is a primary community resource and self-help fellowship for the families and friends of alcoholics. Members share their experiences, strength, and hope at regularly held meetings, and learn to cope with the effects of being close to an alcoholic. Headquarters registers, services, and provides literature to 33,000 groups worldwide, of which 19,000 are in the United States.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , 1125 15th Street, N.W., Suite 502, Washington, D.C. 20005, was established to help solve all health problems related to allergic diseases by sponsoring research and treatment facilities. It also grants scholarships to medical students specializing in the study of allergy.

Alzheimer's Association , 919 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1000, Chicago, Illinois 60611; (800) 272-3900, was founded in 1980 to heighten public awareness of this degenerative brain disorder, provide support for patients and their families, aid research efforts, advocate for legislation that responds to the needs of Alzheimer's disease patients and their family members, and commemorate National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month each November-.The network includes more than 200 chapters and affiliates across the country representing over 1,000 Family Support Groups. To obtain the most up-to-date information on Alzheimer's disease legislation and research, and for referral to local chapters, call or write the Association.

The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR), 120 Wall Street, 13th Floor, New York, New York; (212) 806-1600, was created in the fall of 1985 as a result of the unification of two not-for-profit public foundations: the AIDS Medical Foundation (AMF), incorporated in the State of New York in April 1983; and the National AIDS Research Foundation (NARF), incorporated in the State of California in August 1985. AmFar is an independent, national organization whose directors, committee members, and staff are professionals in the field of AIDS.

The Foundation has two main missions. First, it supports and facilitates laboratory and clinical research projects selected on the basis of scientific merit and relevance to achieve an understanding of the pathogenesis of AIDS, its prevention through the use of a vaccine, and its treatment. Second, the Foundation works to develop data and to serve as a source of accurate and up-to-date information about an epidemic that has profound psychosocial repercussions in our society.

American Foundation for the Blind , 11 Penn Plaza, Suite 300, New York, New York 10001; (800) 232-5463, is a national nonprofit organization working with local and national services to improve the quality of life for all blind and visually impaired persons. It stocks many different consumer products and publications and has recorded and produced millions of talking book records for the Library of Congress.

Through its staff of national consultants and its regional offices, the Foundation maintains a direct liaison with state, regional, and local agencies.

The Association for Voluntary Surgical Contraception , 79 Madison Avenue New York, New York 10016, was founded in 1943 to promote the right of each individual to choose sterilization as a method of birth control. A nonprofit membership organization, the AVSC has increasingly collaborated with governmental and private sector providers to ensure effective access to sterilization facilities. The Association also sponsors training, education, and program support for sterilization and family planning counselors and others; prepares annual estimates of male and female voluntary sterilizations in the United States; issues a quarterly newsletter, the AVSC News , and other publications, and initiates and monitors research into medical, legal, psychological, ethical, and public health aspects of voluntary sterilization.

The C.D.C . National AIDS Hotline , (800) 342-2437 is operated by the Federal Centers for Disease Control and provides confidential and anonymous information and referrals to local health organizations, counselors, and support groups. The C.D.C . National Prevention Information Network , P.O. Box 6003, Rockville, MD 20849, provides free educational materials on the prevention of AIDS, HIV, other STDs, and tuberculosis.

The Epilepsy Foundation of America , 4351 Garden City Drive, Landover, Maryland 20785; (800) 332-1000, is the result of a merger in 1967 of two similar organizations. At present, the Foundation has more than 60 local affiliates that provide information, referral services, and counseling. It conducts a research grant program for medical and psychosocial investigation and distributes a wide variety of literature on request to physicians, teachers, employers, and the interested public on such subjects as anticonvulsant drugs, insurance, driving laws, and emergency treatment. The national office also maintains an extensive research library.

The Leukemia Society of America , 600 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10001; (800) 9554572, was organized in 1949 and now has 57 chapters. It supports research in the causes, control, and eventual eradication of the disease that, though commonly thought of as a disorder of the blood, is in fact a disorder of the bone marrow, lymph nodes, and spleen, which manufacture blood. The society has a continuing program of education through special publications directed to physicians, nurses, and the public. Through its local affiliates, it conducts patient-aid services that provide counseling, transportation, and—to those who need financial assistance—drugs, blood transfusions, and laboratory facilities.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association , Inc ., 3300 East Sunrise Drive, Tucson, Arizona 85718; 800/572-1717, has as a primary goal the scientific conquest of muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular diseases. The Association supports scientific investigators worldwide. In addition, through its 185 chapter offices nationwide, MDA provides a comprehensive patient and community services program to individuals diagnosed with any one of 40 neuromuscular disorders. The Association maintains a network of some 230 MDA clinics coast to coast to provide diagnostic services and therapeutic and rehabilitative follow-up care as well as genetic, vocational, and social service counseling to patients and their families. MDA also sponsors a summer camping program for youngsters aged 6 to 21 as well as adult outings, with activities geared to the special needs of those with neuromuscular diseases.

RESOLVE , (Helpline: (617) 623-0744) is a national non-profit consumer organization serving the unique needs of the infertile population and allied professionals with support, education and advocacy. RESOLVE, 1310 Broadway, Somer-ville, MA 02144-1731. Membership services include national newsletter, telephone helpline, physician referral service.

The ARC of the United States , 500 East Border Street, Suite 300, Arlington, Texas 76010; (817) 261-6003, established in 1950, is the nation's largest voluntary organization specifically devoted to promoting the welfare of children and adults with mental retardation. It is estimated that there are six million such persons in the United States. Through its 1,500 affiliates the association conducts and supports research, sponsors employment programs, advocates for progressive public policy, and works for better community services. Counseling and referral services, as well as extensive literature for professionals and concerned families, are available on request.

The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation , 1275 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains, New York 10605; (888) 6634637, was founded in 1938 to combat infantile paralysis (polio). In the 40 years since the conquest of polio, through the development of the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines, the March of Dimes has dedicated itself to the prevention of birth defects, the nation's number one child health problem. It does this through programs of birth defects research and medical service and education that provide new knowledge and understanding of birth defects and their prevention. More than a quarter-million babies are born with one or more of the 3,000 known birth defects each year. The Foundation also has established the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California for the purpose of carrying on basic research in life processes to discover what causes birth defects and other diseases.

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