If you or someone close to you has recently been given a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. Or, you may be feeling so overwhelmed by the diagnosis that you aren’t sure what kinds of questions to ask. The Newly Diagnosed Teleconference Series is an opportunity to hear useful information directly from experts in the field. These experts will discuss information that is most relevant to someone who has been diagnosed with MS within the last two years.
Each teleconference lasts just one hour and is accessible via a toll-free number. You can ask questions or just listen to the information. Best of all, you can do so from the privacy of your own home. Participate in several calls or just the one that interests you.
Whether you have or may have MS, or care about someone who does, finding the right information is an important step. Learning more about the disease can help ease the anxiety and confusion that sometimes comes. This call will cover the basics of multiple sclerosis including the courses, treatments, common symptoms, myths about the disease, and much more.
Guest Speakers: Kathleen Costello & Julie Hedges
Kathleen Costello received her BS and MS from the University of Maryland. She is certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner, Multiple Sclerosis Nurse and Multiple Sclerosis Specialist. Ms. Costello serves as Research Associate at The Johns Hopkins MS Center located in Baltimore, Maryland. In her roles there, she provides evaluation and management of patients with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. In addition, she is the Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Project Restore, a project to help raise awareness and funding for multiple sclerosis and transverse myelitis research initiatives at the Johns Hopkins MS and TM Centers. Ms. Costello is a past president of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN) and is currently a member of the IOMSN Research Committee. Ms. Costello is the project chairperson for the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC) MS Specialist Certification Project. She is the co-chair of the NMSS Maryland Chapter Clinical Advisory Committee. Ms Costello has written and lectured extensively on MS and MS care.
Julie Fiol, RN, LGSW, is a registered nurse and licensed social worker. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work. Ms. Fiol is a recipient of the John Dystel Nursing Fellowship in multiple sclerosis, funded by the National MS Society. She is currently completing her MS nursing fellowship at the Johns Hopkins MS Center. In addition to her current role in MS nursing, Ms. Fiol worked for the National MS Society, Maryland Chapter for nearly 5 years before leaving to obtain her nursing degree. Now as a nurse, she has returned to her area of passion serving people affected by MS.
Although there is no cure for MS, effective strategies are available to modify the disease course, treat flare-ups, manage symptoms, improve function and safety, and provide emotional support. In combination, these treatments enhance the quality of life for people living with MS. This call will provide an overview of the types of medications used to treat MS, including the ways the medications are administered, how often, and side effects.
Guest Speaker: Gary Thomas, MD
Gary Thomas, MD is an Assistant Professor and a board certified neurologist and MS specialist with additional fellowship training and certification in neurophysiology. He has served as an MS Specialist for the last 6 years and is the Director of the Comprehensive MS Clinic at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey Pennsylvania where they follow approximately 2500 MS patients and participate in both basic science and clinic trial research. Additionally, Dr. Thomas is the Clerkship Director for the neurology rotation at the Penn State College of Medicine. He is a lifelong Pennsylvanian who grew up in the Philadelphia area. He did his undergraduate work in Electrical Engineering at Penn State University and also received his MD degree and MBA at Penn State University. Dr. Thomas is an active speaker for and a board member of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National MS Society.
We know it can be difficult to hear the words "You have MS." There are so many questions that arise in the first few years about what the diagnosis means for you, how it will impact your relationships and career, and how to manage the chronic nature of the disease. This teleconference will address how to cope with the new "uninvited guest" in your relationships with family and friends and how navigate through the disclosure and accommodations process in the workplace.
Guest Speakers: Melissa Bruno, Christina L. Forster, and Steven W. Nissen
Melissa Bruno, MSW, LSW, MSCIR, MSSMC is the Client Services Manager at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. Before joining the Society, Melissa worked as a social worker for the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Thomas Jefferson University. Melissa also completed an internship at Family and Community Medicine located at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA. Melissa has a MSW from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and is currently licensed in the state of Pennsylvania.
Christina L. Forster, MA, CRC is the Employment Services Manager at the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter. Before joining the Society in 2009, Christina worked as a rehabilitation counselor for the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, the state vocational rehabilitation agency. Christina also completed an internship at the National Capital Chapter of the National MS Society in Washington, DC. Christina has an MA degree in rehabilitation counseling and is a certified rehabilitation counselor.
Steven W. Nissen, M.S., CRC is the Senior Director of Employment and Community Programs at the National Capital Chapter in Washington, DC. Steve has a B.S. degree in psychology, M.S. degree in rehabilitation counseling, and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Prior to joining the National MS Society, he worked for Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS), the state vocational rehabilitation agency, and also worked for a private vocational rehabilitation and case management company where he assisted individuals with physical disabilities. Steve co-authored Employment Issues and Multiple Sclerosis, 2nd edition.