Ways to Fund and Save for HA CONNECT

Ways to Fund and Save on Your Attendance at HA CONNECT, 2024 National Conference on Hydrocephalus, in Tampa, FL this July!

The National Conference on Hydrocephalus, HA CONNECT, 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. Given the chronic nature of hydrocephalus, many of us face financial challenges. To assist you, we’ve compiled a tip sheet to help identify potential sources of financial assistance.

Strategies for Individual and Family Participation

If the cost of attendance for the entire family is prohibitive, this could be an excellent opportunity for one parent or caregiver to attend, learn, and share the experience with the family, hopefully enabling more members to attend a future conference that may be closer to home. Consider having just the primary caretaker or patient attend this time.

Additionally, you might find another member willing to share a room, which could reduce costs. Reach out within your community network. Please note, HA does not manage or take responsibility for arrangements related to room sharing or rates. For more affordable options, consider looking into Airbnb or Vrbo.

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. Please note, individuals cannot use FSA accounts to cover the cost of meals or lodging.  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.

For more information visit the IRS website by clicking here.

Grants

Conference grants are financial awards to support participation in a conference or event. They can cover all or part of your expenses, such as travel, accommodation, registration, and materials. Please see this LinkedIn article for helpful information about finding and applying for conference grants. And check with the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities to apply for a conference grant.

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.

Also check out your:

  • High school or college clubs and organizations
  • Hospital auxiliaries
  • Local church charities

Regional Centers

Regional Centers are also a great resource for parents. These are state-run organizations set up to assist parents with children who are at-risk developmentally. As the conference is geared to providing information for these children, Regional Centers are another potential source of financial assistance.

Local Family Resource Centers and Nonprofits for Medical Conditions

Many conditions may accompany, relate to, or cause hydrocephalus. Consider reaching out to a nonprofit associated with these conditions to see if they offer funding that supports improved education or enhanced quality of life. Consider approaching a nonprofit related to this other condition to see if it provides funding to promote better education or quality of life.

Condition Specific Clinics

Some clinics provide grants to further the education of patients with chronic conditions.

Create your own Opportunity

Organize an fundraiser and extend invitations to friends, family, and community members. Explain the purpose of the funds, why their support is vital, and express gratitude for their contributions. Additionally, consider asking family and friends if they have airline miles they could donate to help with airfare costs.

We encourage you to explore these options and reach out to the resources available to you. Your participation greatly enhances our event, and together, we have the power to make a difference. We hope to see you at HA CONNECT. For additional details on the conference, please visit hydrocephalusconference.org.

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