Oklahoma's New MS Center
The Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence opened March 15, 2011 in Oklahoma City on the first floor of the new research tower of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF). Comprised of a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals, the Center provides comprehensive, integrated medical care to patients while also conducting clinical and basic research of demyelinating diseases.
The Center is an unprecedented collaborative opportunity in Oklahoma for physicians and scientists to advance knowledge about MS that ultimately will improve the quality of life for people with MS in Oklahoma and beyond. Offering convenient services as well as education to patients, caregivers and healthcare professional, the state-of-the-art facility expects to treat more than 2,000 Oklahomans with MS.
Funding support for the MS Center of Excellence comes from private donors and state and federal government grants. The National MS Society and the Oklahoma MS Bridge organization also have contributed substantial funds toward the Center.
The OMRF has recognized the National MS Society's contribution to the new facilities by the naming of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Infusion Suite within the Center.
MS Center of Excellence Staff and Services
Gabriel Pardo, MD, Director of the MS Center of Excellence, with Farhat Husain, MD
The Director of the MS Center of Excellence is Gabriel Pardo, MD, former Medical Director of the MS Center of Oklahoma at Mercy's Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Pardo has served as Chair of the National MS Society, Oklahoma Clinical Advisory Council and is currently a member of both the National Clinical Advisory Committee and the South Central Board of Trustees. A neurologist and neuro-ophthalmologist who has specialized in treating MS patients, Dr. Pardo is joined by Farhat Husain, MD, who will also serve as a neurologist for the facility. Physical therapist Amy Thiessen, former National MS Society Clinical Advisory Member and current Oklahoma Clinical Council member, is also a part of the team.
Other heath professionals serving on the interdisciplinary team of the Center include a dedicated MS clinical coordinator and specialists in nursing, rehabilitation, neuro-cognition, speech and language pathology, home health and social services.
Services provided at the new Center include the following:
- Neurological consultation and disease management
- Optical coherence tomography
- Dedicated, MS-centric physical therapy
- Cognitive assessment
- Clinical trials
- Spasticity management
- Mobility assessment
- Wellness education
- Coordination of care
Clinical Trials & Research
Patient participation in clinical trials is completely optional. Individuals choosing to participate in clinical trials have access to experimental therapies and cutting-edge treatments not yet widely available. Additionally, their participation affords them the opportunity to contribute to research knowledge that results in safer and more effective treatment of MS, thus improving patient health and standards of care. Moreover, research patients receive medication, laboratory and diagnostic procedures, as well as intensive medical evaluation and assessment at no cost. Patients may also join the MS Center of Excellence Registry and Repository to provide clinical information and samples that help in the understanding of the disease.
Clinical research of MS is proving that comprehensive disease management can impact the disease course of individuals with MS, allowing them to have a normal or near-norman life expectancy and reducing the potential for disability. As the physician-scientists at the MS Center of Excellence continue to study and treat the disease and its causes, they are developing resources for future collaborations with researchers across the globe, moving us closer each and every day to a world without MS.
For more information about the OMRF MS Center of Excellence, visit omrf.org/MSCenter Appointments may be made by calling 405-271-6242.
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (Map)
Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
National MS Society volunteers and board members attend the check presentation fo the new MS Center of Excellence.
Left to right, standing:
Tom Teasdale *, Jamie Lathrop*, Katie Lathrop, Jim Morris*, Dr. Stephen Prescott (President, OMRF), Gabriel Pardo, MD, Paula Cortner, Lucy Fraser, Robert Margo**, David Carder*, Packy Events* Ray Owens, Regional Vice President - Programs and Services, National MS Society
Seated, left to right:
Farhat Husain, MD, Amy Thiessen, Lori Evans, Candace Richerson, Angela Reynolds
* current and former Society board members
** former Society board members