First MS Care Center In The State To Be Certified By National MS Society
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – According to the National MS Society, connections are essential to better treatments and a cure. With that in mind, the society is partnering with a Connecticut neurology practice to launch what will be the first National MS Society-certified MS comprehensive care center in the state.
“Our certification with the National MS Society will allow us to deepen our relationship with patients in Connecticut living with MS,” said Jeffrey L. Gross, M.D., president and managing partner of Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut and director of the practice’s MS Comprehensive Care Center. “We look forward to providing Connecticut Chapter programs and services more directly to our patients while at the same time participating in the effort to develop additional innovative treatments for MS. As the first certified MS center in Connecticut, we will strive to provide an even higher level of care to MS patients living in Connecticut and beyond.”
To address the complex needs of patients battling MS, in 2008 the society first introduced the National MS Society Affiliated Center for Comprehensive MS Care. Since then more than 80 centers, located across the U.S., have been approved. The National MS Society believes that people with MS receive optimal care and support when strong collaborative relationships exist between healthcare professionals and the society. The initiative is referred to as Partners in MS Care, and includes collaborations between the society and neurologists, mental health professionals, rehabilitation professionals and centers for comprehensive MS care.
“We partner with healthcare providers who desire a strong working relationship with the society,” said Lynette Coleman, associate vice president of programs and services at the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter. “We look for healthcare providers recognizing the value of working with other disciplines to address the complex needs of patients along the continuum of care. In return, the society provides Partners in MS Care participants with up-to-date information and facts about MS management and practices.”
As a society-certified center, Fairfield’s new MS Comprehensive Care Center will have a direct line of communication with experts at the National MS Society. This collaborative connection ensures quality care and support for people affected by multiple sclerosis.
The new MS Comprehensive Care Center offers specialized healthcare and services. Comprehensive care centers have been documented to improve continuity and coordination of care, patient satisfaction and management of patient outcomes. Centers specializing in MS care, provide timely intervention and treatment. The Fairfield center also offers patients with the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking clinical trials.
“We currently are conducting six MS studies, some in Phase 1 and others, as far along as Phase 3 – the final study before a drug goes to market,” said Angelo Termine, clinical research manager. “These are exciting times; MS research is moving forward more quickly than ever before. We are thrilled to be on the front lines. As a result, our patients have the opportunity to take part in potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs.”
Clinical trials, or clinical research studies, test new medical approaches in people to make sure these approaches are safe and effective. Currently, the MS Center for Comprehensive Care is hosting the final phase of testing for a generic form of a well-known drug used to reduce episodes of symptoms in patients diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS. This new generic drug, if proven effective, has the potential to reduce costs for people already financially strapped because of the mounting expenses in treating their chronic illness.
The center is host to seven neurologists, three physician assistants, two registered nurses, three neuropsychologists and a licensed professional counselor, each of whom play an essential role in the care of people living with multiple sclerosis.
The MS Comprehensive Care Center also offers a health and wellness program, providing services such as biofeedback, hypnosis, yoga, acupuncture and message therapy. Patients undergoing relapse are able to receive IV infusions immediately on-site, rather than having to go to a hospital for care.
Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut, which has offices in Fairfield and Milford, is recognized as being the largest practice in the state using neurotoxins, such as Botox, to treat the varying adverse effects of multiple sclerosis, including issues related to spasticity and bladder incontinence.
“We are delighted to partner with Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut and its center,” said Coleman. “We look forward to a dynamic collaboration with a single focus in mind: helping to keep the lives of people living with MS moving forward.”
Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut will host a ribbon cutting and open house Thursday, Oct. 18, at the new MS Comprehensive Care Center at 75 Kings Highway in Fairfield. The open house is open to the public, however, seats are limited so registration is required.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, at 860-913-2550. For more information on multiple sclerosis, its effects and the many ways the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter, assists people with MS, visit www.ctfightsMS.org.