The Chanda Plan Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through education regarding complementary & alternative therapies and grants to access them.
“Every year, 1.3 million people within the United States die from preventable chronic conditions caused by a disability.”
- National Center for Health Statistics
The Chanda Plan Foundation was recently founded on Feb 22, 2005 due Ms. Hinton’s (founder) interest in alternative health care. In 2003, her spinal cord injury had compromised her health to the degree that her weight had dropped to 59lbs, she had chronic pain and her immune system had depleted to a dangerous level causing 911 emergency care and numerous doctor visits.
Chanda and her sister, Crystal, decided to take the actions they discussed regarding her participation in alternative healing treatments. As a yoga instructor, Crystal was privy to valuable resources. In the following months Chanda’s engagement in acupuncture, massage therapy, diet, electric stimulation and physical therapy, enabled her to gain 20lbs and become almost pain free. In addition, her endurance, strength and movement have increased dramatically.
Medicaid, which is a primary insurance that people with disabilities often have to turn to for healthcare and homecare expenses created by their disability, will not fund alternative treatments.
Due to her once unimaginable improvements, Chanda is dedicated toward having these treatments accessible for others. The Chanda Plan Foundation allows disabled individuals to receive alternative treatments, to experience life in good health.
“When you are in good health, fulfilling the things you are passionate about seems limitless.” - Chanda Hinton
“When you have a disability, keeping healthy presents a whole new range of challenges. Prescription drugs and invasive treatments can cause unwanted side effects, and neither health insurance nor Medicaid covers alternative treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy. That means that Americans with disabilities must either find a way to pay for these alternatives or resign themselves to the deficiencies of traditional medicine. The Chanda Plan Foundation says there is a third option. The non-profit organization is dedicated to providing the disabled with funds for alternative medical treatments.”- Westword (2006)
Issue to be addresses: The National Research Council reported that 40 percent of the estimated 200,000 people with spinal cord injuries develop pressure sores. Because the average cumulative cost per pressure sore is an estimated $58,000 (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 1990), the savings to prevent avoidable conditions is significantly low.
20% of Americans have a disability-and its relevance to our communities is significant because compared to other minority groups, people with disabilities have the lowest rate of education and the highest rates of unemployment and poverty. And yet, only around three percent of institutional philanthropy dollars goes to programs targeting or specifically including people with disabilities (Disability Funders Network, 2007)
One factor cause of these statistics is the health of people with disabilities. People with disabilities experience ongoing health problems that are associated with their primary disability. According to the National Council on Disability (NCD), these ongoing health problems are defined as secondary conditions, which include, but are not limited to muscle deterioration & atrophy, pressure sores, contractures, urinary tract infections, depression, etc. While there is agreement that secondary conditions can be debilitating, costly in terms of financial and social consequences, and potentially fatal, there is also an agreement that secondary conditions can be prevented (The National Center on Physically Activity and Disabilities (NCPAD)).
Prevention however, is accompanied with barriers, such as physical limitation & lack of funding. Most physicians recommend conventional medications and participating in regular physical activities because it is affordable and convenient for patients. However, if medications do not work or if an individual is severely physically disabled, these recommendations are not feasible and do not stop secondary conditions from occurring or progressing.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is a successful approach toward preventing secondary conditions. CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems and practices, which include massage therapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc.
According to Dr. Roberta Trieachmann, author & psychologist from Scottsdale, AZ, complementary and alternative medicines are very helpful when working with people who have long-term disabilities. Complementary and alternative treatments address secondary conditions before they occur, which gives people with disabilities an opportunity to maintain good health without being reliant on drugs or surgery.
“Alternative treatments allow me to live an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy body. As beneficial as alternative treatments are I would not be able to afford them on a long-term basis. I would have to drastically reduce my treatments, which would make my health suffer. If it were not for The Chanda Plan, I probably would not have used a chiropractor or acupuncturist.” – Jason Regier (Paralympic Quad Rugby)
The Chanda Plan Foundation is dedicated to the health and wellness of the disabled community by providing grants to access complimentary and alternative treatments. With your help, The Chanda Plan Foundation can produce future success stories similar to Chanda & Jason’s.