2017: A Year in Review

Reviewing the Year's Accomplishments Throughout 2017, with the invaluable support of Foundation members, the Board of Directors , ...

Reviewing the Year's Accomplishments

Throughout 2017, with the invaluable support of Foundation members, the Board of Directors, and the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB), the RLS Foundation was able to take significant strides on behalf of the RLS community. None of our work would be possible without these passionate individuals, and we thank each and every one of you for the steps you take alongside us. Whether you are sharing a copy of NightWalkers with your friend, distributing Foundation materials among your local medical community, attending an RLS Foundation support group, providing feedback to others on our Discussion Board, sharing Foundation content on Facebook, or simply paying your annual membership dues, YOU are helping us in the fight towards a cure for RLS.

Because of this unwavering support, here are some highlights from 2017 that you made possible:

The RLS Foundation Turned 25! June 17, 2017, marked the 25 year anniversary of the RLS Foundation. In celebration of this milestone, we reduced Foundation membership to $25 for the day, and made the Member Portal open to the public for 24 hours.

Public Service Announcements. The RLS Foundation produced seven RLS public service announcements that were aired on local channels in Texas, and are widely available on our YouTube channel and Facebook page. (Share them with your online network, and let others know that they are not alone!)

11th RLS Quality Care Center Certified. In January 2017, Massachusetts General Hospital joined the Foundation's Quality Care Center Network. QCCs are renowned for outstanding performance in the field and staffed by leading RLS specialists who provide expert care and specialized disease management. Read the press release here.

2017 SLEEP Meeting. This annual meeting, hosted by the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), is a three-day conference that brings together the best and the brightest clinicians and researchers in sleep medicine. It is the leading world forum to present and discuss the latest updates in the field - and the RLS Foundation was there to give the RLS community a seat at the table for the second year in a row. Click here to read more about highlights from the conference.

Updated Medical Bulletin. The RLS Foundation's Medical Bulletin is a comprehensive bulletin for physicians that provides the latest information for the care and management of RLS patients. In 2017, Dr. Brian Koo of Yale Centers for Restless Legs Syndrome, an RLS Quality Care Center, and other contributors from our SMAB updated this publication to include information on augmentation for healthcare providers. Become a Foundation member to receive your copy!

Funded RLS Studies. The Foundation's Research Grant Program funded two groundbreaking RLS studies in 2017:

  1. $37,000 grant to William G. Ondo, MD, of Houston Methodist Neurological Institute (an RLS Quality Care Center) to study a new medicine to treat RLS patients who have augmentation
  2. $144,000 two-year grant to John Winkelman, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School, for a "Multi-center Longitudinal Pilot Observational Study of Efficacy and Tolerability of Long-term Treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome Using Opioids"

Advocacy. In December 2017, the RLS Foundation kicked off to educate the public, regulatory authorities and elected officials in Washington about the appropriate use of opioid therapy for refractory cases of RLS. Partnering with the Health and Medicine Counsel of Washington (HMCW), we produced a special bonus webinar, "Effective Advocacy and Policy Implications from the Opioid Crisis." In 2018, we will continue to work with HMCW to give the RLS community a voice in Washington. Want to help us take action? Visit our website to learn more and register to join us for the call to action webinar on April 16th, 2018.

Awards. At the end of 2017, the RLS Foundation celebrated receipt of the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for demonstrating strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

At the cusp of this new year, 2018 has many great promises on the horizon. The RLS Foundation will advocate for the RLS community, to strengthen our core programs, increase awareness of restless legs syndrome, fund research, and continue our quest towards a cure. To everyone who has helped us get to where we are, we thank you!

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