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Muscular Dystrophy Association – Why Work For Us?

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MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.


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The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.

MDA was created in 1950 by a group of adults with muscular dystrophy, parents of children with muscular dystrophy and a physician-scientist studying the disorder.

MDA combats neuromuscular diseases through programs of worldwide research, comprehensive medical and community services, and far-reaching professional and public health education. With national headquarters in Tucson, Ariz., MDA has 120 local offices across the country, sponsors 200 medical clinics and supports some 300 research projects around the world. The Association's programs are funded almost entirely by the voluntary contributions of concerned individuals and cooperating organizations.

Some of MDA's special events and volunteer opportunities include:

  • MDA Lock-Up®
  • Shamrocks Against Dystrophy®
  • Fill the Boot®
  • Golf Tournaments
  • Muscle Walk®
  • Hop-a-Thon®
  • MDA Summer Camp

Our employees like working at MDA because of our career opportunities, inclusive environment, work-life balance, benefits and culture. By joining our dedicated team, you will experience the gratification of knowing your work impacts the well-being of millions of people — both directly and indirectly — affected by neuromuscular diseases.

Our commitment extends to our employees, and we recognize their need to balance work and personal responsibilities. Some of the comprehensive benefits we offer our employees include:

  • Unlimited internal career paths and opportunities
  • Medical comprehensive PPO plan
  • Dental Plan
  • Vision Plan
  • Flexible Spending Account (health and dependent care)
  • Life/disability/accident/travel insurance
  • Travel reimbursement
  • 403(b) retirement savings plan
  • Paid holiday, personal, birthday, anniversary, vacation and sick days

What is MDA?

Founded in 1950, the Muscular Dystrophy Association today is one of the world’s leading nonprofit health organizations, funding research, health care and support services covering more than 40 neuromuscular diseases affecting more than 1 million Americans.

Active in local communities around the country, MDA is dedicated to finding treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases, and to supporting the individuals and families affected by these diseases.

What does MDA cover?

The majority of diseases under MDA’s umbrella are caused by genetic factors. All result in progressive muscle weakness. Symptoms can range from mild muscle weakness to complete paralysis of all voluntary muscles, including those used for breathing and swallowing. Among these diseases, the age of onset varies from birth to adulthood, and life span after diagnosis can be as short as a year or as long as several decades.

For detailed information about each of the neuromuscular diseases in MDA's program, visit the MDA Disease Directory.

What does MDA do?

Worldwide research

MDA annually funds some 300 research projects around the world. Thanks to MDA-funded research:

  • disease-causing genetic mutations have been identified for most of the diseases in its program;
  • clinical trials of potential therapies are under way in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, ALS and other diseases;
  • the largest drug discovery project for ALS to date is being conducted at the ALS Therapy Development Institute;
  • optimal care guidelines have been developed for several rare conditions; and
  • a lifesaving enzyme replacement therapy has been developed for Pompe disease.

Health care and support services

MDA’s comprehensive services program helps individuals and their families meet the challenges imposed by chronic, progressive muscle diseases through:

  • a national network of some 200 medical clinics staffed by experts in neuromuscular diseases, including 42 clinics designated as MDA/ALS centers;
  • local support groups and events for individuals and families;
  • assistance locating, obtaining and repairing needed durable medical equipment; and
  • online opportunities to connect, share and learn through online communities, care coordination tools and webinars.

Summer camps

Each year, thousands of youngsters ages 6 to 17 attend a free weeklong accessible summer camp session where they get to be “just kids.”

Public and professional health education

Online and in print, MDA offers a vast library of information about research, clinical trials, health care and daily living strategies. MDA also regularly convenes international scientific meetings and conferences for researchers and MDA clinic directors.


MDA represents the needs of the neuromuscular disease community in matters of public policy and research advancement, and facilitates involvement in these areas by the people it serves.

Community programs

Public awareness programs such as the MDA Art Collection and Personal Achievement Award demonstrate that disability is no barrier to creativity and service.

Who supports MDA?

Designated a “Top-Rated Charity” by the American Institute of Philanthropy, MDA is the first nonprofit to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Medical Association “for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity.” MDA spends 77 cents of every dollar on its research, services and information programs.

MDA’s programs are supported nationally and in local communities by businesses, associations, organizations, and the care and dedication of countless individual volunteers.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Photos

Muscular Dystrophy Association Reviews

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Muscular Dystrophy Association President & CEO Steven M. Derks
Steven M. Derks
88 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    MDA = passionate, mission-driven, dedicated and supportive association

    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
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    Current Employee - Divisional Director in Green Bay, WI (US)
    Current Employee - Divisional Director in Green Bay, WI (US)

    I have been working at Muscular Dystrophy Association

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO


    MDA is progress. I love the MDA and I love my career. No where else can you work with passionate families, sponsors and staff.


    There isn't a cure yet. And because there is so much good going on, one could work all day, every day!

    Advice to Management

    Keep supporting your teams! Positive culture continues to grow and grow and there are a wealth of amazing leadership and management.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Interviews

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    Fundraising Coordinator Interview

    Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Declined Offer
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    Easy Interview
    Declined Offer
    Negative Experience
    Easy Interview


    I applied online. The process took a weekinterviewed at Muscular Dystrophy Association (San Francisco, CA (US)).


    Really bare bones. Sounds like there has been a huge turnover in the office so they were trying to move me through quickly. It was not particularly challenging, but I did see a lot of red flags come up about the way they operate. I would not take a job working there. Also glad I checked Glassdoor afterwards.

    Interview Questions

Muscular Dystrophy Association Awards and Accolades

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Additional Info

Headquarters Chicago, IL
Size 500 to 999 Employees
Founded 1950
Type Nonprofit Organization
Industry Non-Profit
Revenue £100 to £500 million (GBP) per year

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. We do so by funding worldwide research; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to... More

Mission: Our Mission:
To save and improve the lives of people fighting muscle disease as we: find treatments and cures, support families, and rally communities.

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