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Welcome from Sherry Ward, 2014-2015 MMAE President

Dear Friends:

As president of the Medical Alliance, one of my duties is to write a personal introduction of sorts and general welcome to the MMAE website, My first thought, “What could I possibly say that would adequately convey the nature of this organization?” How could I explain why a person or persons elect, as so many of our members have, to dedicate hours, days, years in the service of this organization?

The answer lies, of course, in an absolute commitment to the mission of the Medical Alliance; MMAE exists to build a healthier community. Our mission isn’t a flashy one and as a volunteer based organization with an 81 year history, I’m absolutely sure that promoting better health in Mecklenburg County will never fit into the category of a “quick fix!”

To their credit, our members carry on year after year raising funds for our Endowment so we can award grants to health focused non-profits. We organize health and educational opportunities for our members and the greater community. Sometimes it feels as if we’ve a mountain to climb, as the needs are great and it takes many hands! As someone who has climbed real mountains, from Mt. Mitchell to Mt. Kilimanjaro with her family, I don’t make this comparison lightly. On a mountain climbing expedition, the individual steps can be tedious but one hangs in there knowing that the view from the top will be magnificent!

So it is with the Medical Alliance, individual volunteer hours spent on a project or committee may not seem consequential but put it all together and look what we’ve accomplished! Over the years, MMAE has launched at least 3 health projects, Teen Health Connection, MedAssist, and MMAE’s Inn, that today are independent nonprofits. We’ve awarded financial grants to over 100 organizations that provide health related services, some deliver medical care to the poor, others offer counseling to abused children; while still another advocates for healthier food choices. Mecklenburg County schools all own and are trained to use lifesaving AED’s, thanks to a joint MMAE and MEDIC project.

Sherry Ward and Family

As any mountain climber will tell you, there’s always a new mountain to climb and MMAE is geared up to scale new heights this year. Our major fund raiser, Holiday House is slated for November 14-16. This year’s theme is Home for the Holidays. Drs. Sid and Amy Fletcher will open their historic Tudor home for tours. All money raised will go directly into the our Endowment Fund, MMAE’s vehicle for awarding health grants.

MMAE members, as usual, will be offered the opportunity to partake in a variety of educational programs. Among those already on the calendar is a speaker from Project 2 Heal, a nonprofit that seeks to find and donate dogs suitable for therapy dog training. We will hear, among other things, about the work of therapy dogs with autistic children.

Plans are also underway for an interesting and very topical Community Health Luncheon. A panel of allergists from Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center will speak on the subject of food allergies. With peanut allergy on the rise and concerns about gluten intolerance in the news, this is sure to be an informative program.

It’s going to be a busy, exhilarating year for the Alliance, and I invite you to join us on this journey. Lace up your hiking boots and enjoy the climb…

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Rejoin and Remember!

Welcome to a new year with the Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment (MMAE)! As we turn the page to the 2014-15 Alliance calendar, we mark the thirty-first year of our Endowment’s founding and celebrate 81 years of service and fellowship within the Alliance.

While these numbers speak of longevity, the real story of our organization can be found in the commitment and dedication of our members. As incoming president, I invite you to renew or update your membership in this wonderful organization. If you have been away from MMAE for a while, and all of us experience times when daily life pulls us in diverse directions, I urge you to return to this community of friends.

Why? Simply put… MMAE needs you! We need your ideas so that MMAE’s outreach to the community can continue to grow! We need your talents and skills so MMAE can fulfill its mission to build a healthier community! We need a few hours of your time given as a volunteer, we need your sense of humor, your friendship, and yes, let’s be honest, we need your dues!

Since we’re being honest, let me also say that I don’t believe there is another organization in Charlotte that offers its members as much for such a nominal membership fee. Our advocacy extends to our members as well as the community and this past year we offered programs with speakers that covered such topics as:

  • Understanding the Affordable Care Act 
  • A Child’s Battle with/and Advances in the Treatment of Leukemia
  • A Cooking Class on Basics of Soup Making
  • Aging with Dignity and Grace
  • A Community Health Luncheon focused on Patient Advocacy

At the Annual Luncheon MMAE’s Endowment Awarded $81,000 in grants to 12 Mecklenburg County non-profits; with this money we bought beds for children, medicine for those without insurance, housed the homeless after surgery, provided counseling for sexually abused children, and camp experiences for children with cancer. With this most recent distribution of funds, MMAE has given back to the community more than $1.5 million dollars.

We are thrilled to announce that in 2014 MMAE will again host a Holiday House! Drs. Sid and Amy Fletcher have graciously agreed to share their historic Tudor home, located at 2148 Selwyn Ave, for Holiday House from November 14-16. Amy is an obstetrician/gynecologist with the Rankin Women’s Center. Sid is an Emergency Medicine physician-Chief of Staff with Novant Health. Formerly the home of Queens University President, Dr. Billy and Katie Wireman, this historic house will surely make for a very successful event.

And the good news just keeps on coming…to kick off the Holiday House festivities, a members only Preview Party will take place on Thursday evening, November 13, at the home of Dr. Elizabeth and Mr. Robert Rostan, 1870 Queens Road West. SAVE THE DATES!

Don’t miss out on this exciting event or any other programs planned for the upcoming Alliance year. Join now or renew your membership today. Download out the enclosed membership form or use our online membership tools!

Remember, MMAE now has a “Friend” category so if you have a friend who shares your passion for the mission and goals of the Alliance, invite them to become a part of the organization.

Thank you for your continued support of MMAE…you are the reason MMAE can make a difference in the community.



Sherry Ward,
2014-15 MMAE President

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Cannon Award Winner Greenspon Dedicated to Finding a Cure for Diabetes

Rozlyn Greenspon (Photo Credit: Ron Deshaies/Treasured Events)

The Mecklenburg Medical Alliance and Endowment is pleased to announce that Roslyn Greenspon is the 2014 winner of the James Gray Cannon Award. The Cannon Award was established in 1984, with the purpose of recognizing an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, on a voluntary basis, toward the advancement of medical care and good health in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community.

Ms. Greenspon is the founder of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (JDF) Charlotte Chapter, which she established in 1973. This was the first JDF chapter founded in the South and for many years, the only chapter between Miami and Washington, DC. Today the Charlotte chapter is now the Greater Western Carolinas Chapter and raises over 3.5 million annually to support research into finding a cure the disease.

Nominated by Laura Maciag, Executive Director of the Greater Western Carolinas Chapter, Greenspon started the local organization in the basement of her home with only a phone and a file cabinet and a never-ending list of families, corporations, and media contacts. She answered the phone, fielded every question and request, and personally talked to every frightened parent who called with concerns about the future of their recently diagnosed diabetic child.

The energy and passion of Ms. Greenspon and her volunteers created a support group that would witness the greatest changes in 40 years in the understanding of the disease and the treatment of children withe diabetes (T1D). In 1975, Greenspon was invited to testify before the National Commission on Diabetes Task Force. The work of this National Task Force resulted in a ground breaking Congressional Act that directed the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop the Long Range Diabetes Plan.

Roslyn Greenspon served as President of the Charlotte Chapter from 1975-85, during which time she increased membership, enlarged the Board of Directors, created many supporting events, and obtained funding from an assortment of sources.

Among Greenspon’s many accomplishments, she has:

  • Represented the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation National Board of Directors (JDRF) as a speaker in the U.S. and  Canada.
  • Developed Benefactors for the Cure, which is a special funding arm for JDRF Chapters
  • Participated in television and radio interviews on behalf of the JDRF
  • Brought diabetes researchers to Charlotte for medical and public teaching seminars

In her honor, the Charlotte JDRF Chapter initiated the Roz Greenspon Community Service Award, which Ms. Greenspon has the privilege of presenting annually. In 2001, For her commitment to the fight against diabetes and her work in numerous other organizations, Roslyn Greenspon was recognized, in 2001, as a Charlotte Jewish Woman of Strength.

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Recognizing MMAE’s Alliance Angels

With Gratitude for Your Support…

We Recognize MMAE’s Alliance Angels

Once again we thank MMAE’s wonderful Alliance Angels for their support. Your generosity helps underwrite many of the Alliance’s social and educational programs. We’d like to award each of you a golden halo but we checked online and halos are hard to come by so please accept our sincere thanks!

You too can become an “Alliance Angel” and support MMAE through a $100 tax-deductible donation to help offset the cost of health programs and administrative costs. Angels will be recognized on our web site.   Click here to become an Angel today – we appreciate your support.

Meet our 2013 -14 Alliance Angels:

Penny Adkins
Gretchen Allen
Sue Anderson
Darlene Beard
Lois Benjamin
Barbara Boehm
Pat Bryant
Barbara Chamblee
Mimi Compton
Jane Craven
Debbie Darden
Marie Daugherty
Julia Elliot
Claudia Fanning
Kay Farmer
Anne Fehring
Marian Fort
Renita Fowler
Debbie Giordano
Louise Hanford
Genie Hayes
Barbara Hiestand
Kathy Howe
Janice Huff
Beth Jaszewski
Carmel Joyce
Beverly Keller
Susan Kelly
Kathleen Klimas
Linda Kramer
Donna Mauerhan
Kim McCulloch
Marylee Mokris
Jackie Palmer
Leslie Perlik
Marie Price
Eileen Ray
Patsy Reames
Paula Reutlinger
Helen Ritch
Joan Scharf
Diane Schwartz
Martha Short
Mary Jo Swanson
Gail Van Der Veer
Judy Verross
Anne Miller Vesano
Melissa Vullo
Sherry Ward
Becky Williford
Mitzi Yount
Anne Yudell

Note:  An additional donation in memory of Earl D. Short, Jr. MD was made to the Angel Fund.


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MMAE Installs 2009-2010 Co-Presidents

IMG_0364Debi Faubion Attorri and Lois Benjamin have been to serve as incoming co-presidents of the Alliance. They were installed, along with other incoming officers, at the Annual Luncheon at Myers Park Country Club on May 19th.

Guests at the luncheon included representatives from MEDIC, MMAE’s partners in the Lucky Hearts Campaign, this year’s health project.

Three Alliance members received a President’s Award for their contributions to the organization. These were:

  • Joni MacDonald for chairing the Lucky Hearts Campaign
  • Kathy Klimas for development of MMAE’s new website
  • Becky Williford for her efforts in putting together the 75th Anniversary Gala and for serving as treasurer

Anne Kahn, North Carolina Medical Society Alliance president, spoke about the programs and the link between county and state Alliances.

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