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The Greater New England Chapter works to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont and raise funds for critical MS research. Join the movement toward a world free of MS.”


MS Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center: Partners in MS Care

August 19, 2015

(L-R): Rebecca Woods, RN, Shanna McCabe*, Linda Guiod*, Andrew Pachner, MD, Kristen Goff, PA-C, Heather Wishart, PhD; David Young-Hong*. *National MS Society.
LEBANON, NH - The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is pleased to officially recognize The MS Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as a Partner in MS Care.  The MS Center at Dartmouth has been in operation for over 15 years and has always had a close relationship with the Society.  The Center provides care to 1,200 individuals coming from all parts of New Hampshire and surrounding areas.  In addition to providing access to comprehensive MS care, the Center offers flexibility in appointment scheduling with appointments available four days per week, plus a monthly self-help group that is open to anyone living with MS.  The MS Center provides access to a variety of services including MRI, mental health, physical rehabilitation, and ophthalmology. 
Andrew R. Pachner, MD, took leadership of The MS Center in 2012 after caring for people with MS for 30 years at MS Centers in Connecticut, Washington, D.C., and most recently in New Jersey.  Along with his activities in MS patient care and clinical trials, he runs a research laboratory focusing on animal models of disability progression in MS. His laboratory is also actively developing biomarkers for disability progression and MS inflammatory activity that will allow selection of therapies personalized to each individual patient. Another major area of research in his laboratory in collaboration with the neuroradiology division is the development of much better imaging by MRI of the involved spinal cord in patients with MS. Research personnel include Drs. Francesca Gilli, Barjor Gimi, and Xi Chen, as well as Darlene Royce
“The Society has been a real positive force here at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.” says Dr. Pachner.  “I expect our MS Center to continue to grow.”  
The MS Center staff is rounded out by Rebecca Woods, an MS certified nurse; Kristen Goff, a physician assistant; Liz Raymond, the administrative assistant for the MS Center, and Dr. Heather Wishart, a neuropsychologist who has been with the center for ten years.  Dr. Wishart has been a National MS Society-funded researcher in cognition and mood.  She has studied cognitive and emotional changes that can affect quality of life for people with MS and has utilized imaging techniques to explain the basis of these deficits.  She is currently studying how multiple sclerosis alters the link between neuronal activity and the brain’s ability to locally regulate blood flow to those activated neurons. Also a major part of the MS Center is the clinical research group running MS clinical trials, which includes Laurie Rizzo, Sandee Snogren, Julie Bursey, Faith Alexandre, and Charlotte Jeffreys
The National MS Society’s Partners in MS Care program recognizes and supports quality MS care.  The program involves healthcare professionals in four areas of practice:
  • Center for Comprehensive MS Care:  Offers a multi-disciplinary model of care to address the often complex needs of many people with MS; and access to a full array of medical, psycho-social, and rehabilitation services delivered in a coordinated fashion where providers share common goals for patient outcomes.
  • Neurologic Care:  Neurologists with current knowledge and experience treating MS.
  • Rehabilitation:  Physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech/language pathologists with demonstrated knowledge in evaluating and treating people with MS.
  • Mental Health:  Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family counselors
For a listing of all Partners in MS Care in your area, visit and enter your zip code in the online “provider finder.”


About the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society

The National MS Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. The Society’s Greater New England Chapter serves 21,000 individuals and families affected by MS in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and by contacting the National MS Society at, or 1 800 FIGHT MS (344 4867).

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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