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WHO WE ARE

We started off as Molecular Diagnostic Facility (MDF) supported by Stitching Porticus, a Dutch grant, coordinated through Sundaram Medical Foundation, Chennai in 2006. MDF’s initial focus was on Molecular Diagnostics for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). MDF soon became a state of the art facility which provided free services in a professional manner. The diagnostic services expanded from simple multiplex PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to advanced technique, MLPA (Multiplex Ligation Probe Amplification). Though, our initial venture was to perform only molecular diagnostic services, our close interaction with the affected children and their families showed that our responsibilities do not end there. So, we started genetic counseling services and by the year 2008, we were the only centre in Tamil Nadu to offer genetic counseling for DMD patients. Carrier analysis is also done in families with Duchenne kids to prevent the disease passing onto the next generation. A well organised DNA bank is established for future research
In August 2009, at the closure of the Dutch grant, our commitment to serve the affected children and their families was stronger than ever. We also felt the need to create awareness and sensitize students, the torch bearers of the future generation on public health issues. We prospected new avenues to combine both our commitment and our beliefs in to our future goals.

Dr. B.R. Lakshmi, our founder, is an alumnus of Avinashilingam University. She believed in the ideals of Dr. Avinashilingam, the founder of the institution, of taking science to the community. Our identical ideals led us to associate with Avinashilingam University as an alumni initiative. After its association with Avinashilingam University, MDF metamorphosed into an organization with a holistic approach to identify, prevent, treat and manage the disorder. To better reflect this all-inclusive approach, MDF became “Molecular Diagnostics, Counseling, Care and Research Centre” (MDCRC). From September 2011, MDCRC has become an independent, not-for-profit charitable organization, which started its work focusing on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

Since there is no cure, providing multidisciplinary care is the only way to manage the disorders to ensure a good quality of life for the affected children. Families are aware of the lethal nature of the disorder. They need someone to hold hands and guide them towards the appropriate care for their children, until some therapy is identified. To satisfy this requirement, MDCRC has initiated multidisciplinary care clinics for the patients with DMD as per international guidelines. These multidisciplinary care clinics involve guidance from clinicians across various disciplines such as Pediatrics, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Pulmonology and Cardiology. MDCRC facilitates multidisciplinary care to the affected children by organizing them with the help of a committed panel of clinicians. Apart from regular diagnosis, counseling and care, we also conduct outreach programs in the rural areas viz., Information, Education, Communication (IEC) activities towards awareness of these disorders. MDCRC also organizes training programs for the staff of health departments and screening camps for children with the help of the public health system.

All these activities provide a sound platform for creating a registry. Registries will pave the way to better understand about the prevalence of the disorders amongst our population. It also enables the Government bodies to allocate appropriate resources and funds through policy makers, dissemination of updates on standards of care, facilitate networking of clinicians and researchers with upcoming research programs and therapies in the pipeline. As part of our family support services, we conduct fun-weekend programs for the affected children and their families annually. We mobilize support to donate wheelchairs or assistive devices, giving them solace and support to combat these lethal genetic disorders. Thus, all services of MDCRC are comprehensive/holistic in nature. They are offered free of cost to the patients.

Since there is no cure, providing multidisciplinary care is the only way to manage the disorders to ensure a good quality of life for the affected children. Families are aware of the lethal nature of the disorder. They need someone to hold hands and guide them towards the appropriate care for their children, until some therapy is identified. To satisfy this requirement, MDCRC has initiated multidisciplinary care clinics for the patients with DMD as per international guidelines. These multidisciplinary care clinics involve guidance from clinicians across various disciplines such as Pediatrics, Neurology, Orthopedics, Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Pulmonology and Cardiology. MDCRC facilitates multidisciplinary care to the affected children by organizing them with the help of a committed panel of clinicians. Apart from regular diagnosis, counseling and care, we also conduct outreach programs in the rural areas viz., Information, Education, Communication (IEC) activities towards awareness of these disorders. MDCRC also organizes training programs for the staff of health departments and screening camps for children with the help of the public health system.

MDCRC has the following recognitions

1.Certificate of recognition from the Government of Tamil Nadu through the Department of Health & Family Welfare department, deemed MDCRC as the Referral Centre for Molecular Diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. (Approved as referral centre vide GO (M/s No; 197, Health and Family Welfare ( E2) Dept., T.N. dated 15/07/2010- New GO- M/s No; 309, Health and Family Welfare ( E2) Dept., T.N. dated 05/11/2012

2.Certificate of Recognition from Department of Scientific & Industrial Research, DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi

3.Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Government of India, Centre for Advanced Research in neuromuscular Disorders and Establishment of Patient Registry for DMD.

4.Certificate of Grant of Exemption under Section 80G of IT Act, 1961

5.Certificate of 100 % exemption under 35AC of IT Act, 1961

6.Government of Tamil Nadu order towards ‘Establishment of Model Rehabilitation Centre’, for Children affected with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy by MDCRC, through the Department of Differently Abled. GO (M/s No; 55 dated 04/09/2014).

1. Dr. LAKSHMI WINNING THE YUVASAKTHI AWARD – 2013. She was awarded the outstading achievement in community health by Mahalingam Group of Institutions, Coimbatore. Dr. Lakshmi’s exemplary services towards the identification and prevention of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy has led her to this award- ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMUNITY HEALTH.

2. Top 15 Women Scientists "Though healthcare is mainly a male-dominated sector, there are many women who have made a huge difference. While some have earned their name in leading positions in healthcare companies and hospitals, others have toiled at the grassroots level and made a social impact. On Women’s Day, "Health care.com honored Dr. B. R. Lakshmi as one among 15 women, chosen for their extra ordinary contribution to health care field. This was selected by the health.india.com group. She was chosen as ONE OF THE TOP 15 WOMEN SCIENTISTS IN HEALTH CARE SECTOR, during International Women’s day 2013.

3. Dr. BR Lakshmi was honored with ‘HEALTH CARE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD’, for exemplary service and commitment to the advancement of health care services for the at risk and underserved, on 1st February 2014 by Health evillages during the Health 2.0 Conference at Bangalore.

4. Honored for the community service jointly by Tamil Chamber of Commerce, Namathu Nambikkai and Sri Krishna Sweets, 2014 in Chennai at Krishnagana Sabha during an event called ‘THITTAM IDU THOTTU VIDU’.

5. To commemorate the role model of womanhood (Women’s day), the Cavin Care family has instituted the SHEROES AWARD 2014, to recognize extraordinary women from various fields. Dr. Lakshmi, honored for the excellence in social work, for children affected with this orphan disorder, namely Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) and SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) in an event on May 8, 2014 at Chennai.

6. Chennai Rotary West has awarded Dr. BR Lakshmi for her exemplary social service. She was awarded the SELFLESS SERVICE AWARD on March 6, 2015 to commemorate the Women’s Day to honour the Women Achievers.

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