From April through May 2011, we were pleased to present a series of teleconferences for clients with MS and their families entitled “LINKS.” Whether you just received a diagnosis of MS or have been living with it for a long time--the goal of this series is to “link” you with information and tips on how to maintain your quality of life in the years ahead.
Recordings from thes calls are posted below, along with a description of each call's topic, and any presentation materials given out during the call.
Call Topics: (scroll down to see the details for each call)
- Parenting with MS--Making a Place for MS and Keeping MS in its Place!
- Recreation with Changing Needs and MS
- Intimacy and MS
- Vision and MS
- Driving with MS--How to Stay Behind the Wheel
- Alphabet Soup--Disability Programs and What They Mean for You
- Making the Most of Your 15 Minutes with Your Neurologist
- MS Research Update
As a parent you may struggle with how to talk to your children about MS and the ways it may affect your family. This teleconference will focus on how to talk with your children in age appropriate ways about MS, as well as address managing the unpredictability of MS as a family and the strengths and skills of resilient families. Discussion will also touch on children as caregivers and the programs and services offered by the National MS Society to assist families.
Guest Speaker: Kimberly Koch, MPA started with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in March 2003 and is Associate Vice President, Family and Support Programs in the Programs and Services Department. Her current responsibilities include Connection Programs (self-help groups, peer support), Children and Teens with MS: A Network for Families, children’s publications, family caregiver initiatives, and Relationship Matters: A Program for Couples Living with MS. She received her undergraduate degree in political science and international relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Public Administration in program planning and implementation at George Mason University.
Recreation and leisure activities play a vital role in physical health, psychological health, and social needs. Recreational activities lead to a better quality of life and sense of life satisfaction. Specifically for those living with MS, studies have shown that exercise, relaxation, and stress management have positive benefits. Listen to this call and learn how engaging in recreational activities can result in positive improvements in three key areas--symptom, physical and mental health management.
Guest Speaker: Janice M. Wilson is the Program Coordinator at Kernan Rehabilitation Hospital's Multiple Sclerosis Adult Day Program. She is certified in Therapeutic Recreation. Janice has held positions with Anne Arundel County Parks and Recreation as a Summer Day Camp Counselor and Assistant Camp Director for special needs populations. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah in Recreation & Leisure Studies. Janice furthered her education by attending the University of Maryland College Park Therapeutic Recreation Educational program and completed her Therapeutic Recreation Internship in Traumatic Brain Injury at Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
When one person in a couple is affected by MS, the other person lives with it as well. To keep your relationship healthy and balanced, it’s important to make sure that both of you stay on the giving and receiving end of the relationship, in spite of whatever changes MS may bring. This teleconference will focus on how MS affects sexual function, improving intimacy in relationships, and strategies for communication about issues and ways to manage the effects of MS on sexual function.
Guest Speaker: Marie Namey, RN, MSN, MSCN, is an Advanced Practice Nurse at the Mellen Center for MS Treatment and Research at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.
A vision problem is the first symptom of MS for many people. The sudden onset of double vision, poor contrast, eye pain, or heavy blurring is frankly terrifying-and the knowledge that vision may be compromised can make people with MS anxious about the future. This call will discuss how vision is affected by MS, as well as possible treatment options. Resources and equipment that may be used for people living with vision difficulties will also be examined.
Guest Speaker: Robert Abel, Jr., M.D is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Jefferson Medical College. Dr. Abel performed his ophthalmology training at the Mount Sinai Hospital (in New York City) and a cornea transplant fellowship at the University of Florida. Dr. Abel co-founded the alternative medicine curriculum at Thomas Jefferson University where he was a former clinical professor of ophthalmology. He has long been a nationally renowned teacher of conventional eye therapy and has done research on pharmacology, contact lenses, and cornea transplantation. He has helped found eye banks, holds patents on artificial corneas, and received the senior honor award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has written 6 books, formulated eye vitamins, and consults with numerous healthy living companies. Dr. Abel’s mission is bringing mind-body medicine to 21st century eye care and to provide people with options to common visual problems.
For many people, the ability to operate their own vehicle equals freedom. Hear from DMV Licensed Commercial Driving Training School Instructor and Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist John Vaughter as he discusses how to keep your driving independence despite physical changes you may be experiencing due to MS. John’s extensive experience will be able to help you navigate the world of automobile modifications and driving evaluations.
Guest Speaker: John Vaughter is a DMV License Commercial Driving Training School Instructor and Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. Recently retired after being employed for 35 years as the Program Manager of the Driver Rehabilitation Program at the Hunter Holmes McGuire Department of Veterans Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia, Mr. Vaughter is experienced in conducting driving assessments for the Department of Motor Vehicles for seniors and drivers with special needs. Additionally he is experienced in conducting workshops for Allied Health Professionals in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on issues related to driver rehabilitation for the physically challenged. He has previously served as adjunct faculty member for the Department of Veteran Affairs Driver Rehabilitation Instructor Training Course at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, CA.
John completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA. He completed his Master of Education degree from West Chester State University, West Chester, PA.
Navigating the many programs and benefits out there that are often shortened to three to four letter acronyms can be challenging. Join us on this call and learn about the wage replacement programs available to individuals who are medically unable to continue working full time, and how these different programs relate to one another. This discussion will include a comparison of private programs, such as Long Term (LTD) and Short Term (STD) Disability, as well as public programs, such as Social Security Disability (SSDI) and Unemployment Compensation (UEC).
Guest Speaker: Jamie R. Hall, Esquire is a graduate of Villanova University’s School of Law and is the founder of the Law Office of Jamie R. Hall. He serves PA, NJ and NY with a focus on the following fields: Social Security disability, private disability (ERISA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), workers’ compensation, and unemployment compensation matters. Mr. Hall is a member of the National MS Society, Greater Delaware Valley Chapter’s 2010 Leadership Class and has worked with the National MS Society to provide lectures on disability issues in both Pennsylvania and New York.
Time spent with your health care provider is precious and there are things you can do to make sure you are maximizing the time you spend in the doctor’s office. Learn what you should do before even stepping foot into the examining room, what kinds of questions you should ask when there, and how to make sure your doctor is really hearing your concerns. You must be proactive in getting the answers and care you want.
Guest Speaker: Gwen S. Johnson, MSN, RN, NP-C is the nurse practitioner specializing in Multiple Sclerosis at the Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Cincinnati, OH. At the Center, Ms. Johnson coordinates special programs for individuals with MS and their families, as well as facilitates clinical research involving MS. She earned her certification from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from Ohio State University and her master's degree from the University of Cincinnati. Before assuming her current position, Ms. Johnson worked as a nurse practitioner with the UC Department of Neurology's Residency Program and with University Internal Medicine Associates and Montgomery Internal Medicine.
Research in MS is progressing at a remarkable rate, with more potential therapies in the pipeline than at any other time in history. The National MS Society is a driving force of MS research, supporting and stimulating world-class research into ways to prevent, better treat and cure this unpredictable disease. Join us for a call on World MS Day, and learn how far we’ve come, where we’re going, and what the Society and others are doing to move toward a world free of MS.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Irene Cortese, Neuroimmunology Branch, National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.