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Programs and resources available to for families involved in the Exceptional Family Member Program were represented at the Exceptional Family Member Program Information and Resource Symposium, March 15.

The EFMP serves family members of all active duty personnel from birth to age 21 that have a special need or disability. Sponsors who have physical custody of a parent or relative older than 21 are also eligible for the program.

The Frederick County Developmental Center, Mid Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute, Service Coordination Inc., and Priority Partners were among the organizations represented at the symposium.

"It is our duty and privilege to take care of these families," EFMP Director Dr. Debra Bavari said.

Bavari described the programs available to Exceptional Family members as being proactive. "Where families go, the services they need will be available," she said.

Service Coordination Inc. is a nonprofit organization that supports people of all ages who have intellectual and developmental disabilities to make choices affecting their lives and to access desired connections to resources and services so they can be active members of their community. This organization believes that each person's values, dignity, happiness and rights must be respected.

Priority Partners, also represented at the symposium, offers low and no cost healthcare to children and families that are a part of HealthChoice.

As a parent to a special needs child, Col. Allan J. Darden, shared his personal story, his experience with the EFMP.

"It is my goal in command to work on these programs," Darden said. "We will fight for our children any way we can. We believe our children are capable of anything with the right tools."

For more information about services and programs available to Exceptional Family Members please contact Michelle Hewitt at (301) 619-3385.