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MS Society Hosts Joint Congressional Briefing on the Value of Rehabilitation

June 22, 2017

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is pleased to be among sixty (60) national consumer, clinician, and membership organizations sponsoring a congressional briefing on ‘The Value of Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services and Devices in America’s Health Care System’ on June 27, 2017.  As Congress considers health reform, this briefing will provide an opportunity for informed discussion on the value of a wide range of rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices for persons with injuries, illnesses and disabilities. 

The goal of rehabilitation therapy in MS is to improve and maintain function, and is therefore an essential component of comprehensive MS care. From the time of diagnosis onward, rehabilitation specialists provide education and strategies designed to promote good health and overall conditioning, reduce fatigue, and help people with MS feel and function at their best — at home, at work, or at play. Access to professional rehabilitation services are essential for people with MS to live their best lives, and include physical and occupational therapies as well as speech and language pathology, and more.   Therapists also help people incorporate canes, scooters or other devices into their everyday use to promote movement and independence while safeguarding against falls, isolation and dependence on others. 

Advocates living with MS will help educate members of Congress and others on the importance of rehabilitation benefits into all health insurance plans throughout the day, during the luncheon briefing and in meetings with select Congressional offices.     

Congressional co-hosts Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL), both bilateral amputees resulting from battleground injuries, will be joined by the following additional speakers:  
  • Eric LeGrand, former Rutgers football player who sustained a spinal cord injury during a game; 
  • Roseann Sdoia, Boston bombing survivor who survived an above-the-knee amputation; and
  • Isabella Smith, a child with a developmental disability who uses habilitative speech therapy. 
For more information please contact Kim Calder at kim.calder@nmss.org   

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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