Tanner Foundation

About the Foundation

The Tanner Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 started in 2003 by Dr. Emily Riser to provide educational opportunities to persons with multiple sclerosis, family members and health care professionals. The Foundation is named after Anthony Tanner, a former executive of a health care institution, who has MS.  Tony Tanner continues to be a great advocate, philanthropist, and champion for individuals with MS.

In 2015 the Foundation's Board identified a need within our community to broaden the Foundation's mission to include all neurological diseases. A primary goal of the Foundation's work is to provide support to help reduce the financial and psychological burdens experienced by people living with neurological diseases, particularly ALS, MS and Parkinson's Disease. 

 The Tanner Foundation has participated in the CMSC Rehabilitation Fellowship Program sponsoring fellows from across the United States and Canada interested in specializing in MS care.

To donate, sponsor, or inquire about programs and services provided through the Foundation please contact Janet Thorn, Executive Director at JanetThorn7@gmail.com 



Janet Thorn
Executive Director

Tracy Tracy
Clinical Research Coordinator


To enhance the lives of individuals living with neurological diseases through promoting, conducting, and sponsoring research and education.

Board Members

Janet Thorn, Executive Director

Tracy Tracy, Clinical Research Coordinator

Kevin McGovern, Esq Assistant General Counsel, Harbert Management Corporation

Yolanda Harris, MSN, CRNP, CPNP-AC, UAB School of Nursing, UAB Center for Pediatric Onset Demyelinating Disease

Jon Michael Ogletree, CPA, CFO Cahaba Safeguard Administrators

Bonnie Browning, Retired, BellSouth


The Foundation is committed to providing ongoing educational opportunities for people living with neurological disease, health care professionals and the community at large.  An annual Neurological Conference is offered each fall with continuing education credits for health care professionals.

The Foundation provides support for monthly clinics including a newly diagnosed MS Clinic and a multidisciplinary ALS Clinic.

A variety of programs and services are availalble for people living with neurological diseases.  For additional information, contact Janet Thorn, Executive Director : JanetThorn7@gmail.com


Press Release

Therapy clinics throughout Mississippi and Alabama have been chosen to participate in a $5.8 million multiple sclerosis (MS) study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in Washington, D.C.

Led by a research team at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, the trial will compare the effects of delivering an exercise-based rehabilitation program via Internet or telephone versus providing the therapy in a clinic. Evidence shows that exercise, yoga, and other such therapies can alleviate symptoms and improve functions, but clinics that can provide such services are scarce in rural and low-income areas.

The study is one of four addressing MS therapies, all of which are underwritten by nearly $20 million in PCORI funding.

"PCORI is delighted to make these new awards addressing crucial evidence gaps and questions of vital interest to the more than 400,000 people in the U.S. living with multiple sclerosis," said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. "These studies will provide significant new evidence to help patients, their families and their clinicians decide more confidently which of the therapies available to them will work best given their needs and preferences."

Study participants are being recruited in Alabama and Mississippi. For more information, call 205-704-8248

This work was (partially) supported through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award #MS - 1511 - 33653.

Tanner Foundation Upcoming Events


Date: October 03, 2017

Best Practices in Care for Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Canterbury Methodist Church
350 Overbrook Road • Birmingham, AL 35213

Registration 8:00 am & Continental Breakfast
Classes from 9:00 am–4:00 pm • 3 separate tracks

  • ALS track : 9:00am - 4:00pm
  • MS track will be from 9:00am - 12:00pm
  • The Parkinson's track will be from 1:00pm - 4:00pm

All tracks are invited to join us for lunch from 12:00pm - 1:00pm.

Lunch Provided

6.6 CEUs - nursing and other healthcare professionals / 5.5 CEUs social work
$39 registration fee
FREE for persons with neurological disease and one caregiver

Reserve your spot contact janetthorn7@gmail.com or 205-305-0397.

Number attendees

TEAMS—Tele-Exercise And Multiple Sclerosis - 12-week exercise-based rehabilitation program.
Please download the form for TEAMS by clicking here.

Contact the Foundation