The National Conference on Hydrocephalus is our biennial gathering which provides people living with hydrocephalus and their loved ones, an opportunity to learn from experts in the field, hear about the latest research, and make or renew connections with others who share a similar experience. Join medical professionals, representatives of health industry corporations, parents, children, people living with hydrocephalus and people affected by it, as we celebrate our community.
While we strive to keep costs down for attendees and provide some financial aid for registration, there are other costs to consider, such as airfare and accommodations. Because of the chronic nature of hydrocephalus, many of us struggle to make ends meet. So we have put together a tip sheet to give you ideas on identifying sources that might provide financial assistance.
Limited financial aid is available to cover conference registration fees. Financial aid is awarded based on need. Please contact Jennifer@hydroassoc.org to request a financial aid application form.
Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
Did you know that the IRS allows Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to be used to attend medical conferences?
FSAs are plans where employees can put pre-tax dollars aside for certain expenses such as medical, dental costs and other expenses not covered by health insurance. Individuals can use FSA funds to pay for admission and transportation to a medical conference if the conference concerns an illness that someone in the family has. If you or your loved ones are employed at a job where an FSA is available and you participate, you may use money in the FSA for transportation and registration for conference.
CLUBS AND ASSOCIATIONS
It often pays to solicit professional or charitable organizations. Consider non-specific organizations such as the Elks, Kiwanis and Rotary clubs; regional groups, like the Native Sons of the Golden West; and historical, veteran or recreational associations, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the YMCA. These large organizations often promote raising money for worthy causes, including those involving chronic illness.
Here is a list of clubs and organizations to get you started. Keep in mind that these usually have a local chapter, and it’s best to deal with them at that level.
STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
Some state governments also offer assistance for patients to travel to medical conferences through their agencies for aging and/or disability services. Each state agency has their own requirements. Below are three states we know of that provide financial assistance. If you know of others we can add to the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Developmental Disabilities Administration
- New Jersey Department of Human Services Division of Developmental Disabilities
- Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
LOCAL FAMILY RESOURCE CENTERS AND NONPROFITS FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS
There are many conditions that are concomitant, related or causal to hydrocephalus. Consider approaching a nonprofit related to this other condition to see if it provides funding to promote better education or quality of life.
Some clinics provide grants to further the education of patients with chronic conditions.
CREATE YOUR OWN OPPORTUNITY
Create an event and invite friends, family and people from your community to attend. Let them know what the funds raised will be used for, why it’s important and how much their contribution is appreciated. Perhaps a community group, like the local chapter of the Boy Scouts, would be willing to assist.