Multiple sclerosis requires attention to the patient as a whole.
That comprehensive approach has been at the core of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence since it opened its doors on March 15, 2011.
While a slew of discoveries, advancements and an ever-growing patient population have changed the scale over the past five years, the vision remains the same: to provide not only complete, but also compassionate medical care.
In order to achieve that goal, it takes a dedicated, well-rounded team.
“It’s paramount to the concept of our multidisciplinary, comprehensive approach to the management of the disease,” said MS Center Director Gabriel Pardo, M.D. “Every single one of our team members is passionate about our mission to take care of these patients individually and make a positive impact on their lives. At the same time, we are promoting and developing new ideas that will, in turn, offer benefits to the community at large.”
MS Center physicians see more than 400 patients every month. With 5,567 patient visits over the past 12 months and 2,028 unique patients seen in the past two years, this 16-person MS team is constantly hard at work to make sure each individual is taken care of in every facet.
In addition to patient care, the center is devoted to the advancement of scientific knowledge through clinical and basic research. By doing this, they are able to gain a deeper understanding of these conditions, which can improve clinical outcomes for MS patients in Oklahoma and across the country.
With patient databases and a repository of biological samples, the center is creating a shared resource that enables collaborations across the world, allowing for significant advancement in the understanding, treatment and prevention of MS.
Pardo said that of all of the achievements over the past half-decade, a few instantly come to mind.
“We’ve been involved in a multitude of clinical trials, several of which have resulted in new medications that have either already been approved and made available for treatment of MS or are in the latest stages of development,” said Pardo. “Actually one of them is going soon to the FDA for review for possible approval. I think our involvement in the development of new treatments is one of the most important of our achievements. “
Secondly, OMRF’s facility remains the only comprehensive MS center in the state that offers a multidisciplinary approach to the disease.
“This anniversary allows us to take a second to pause and look back on what we have accomplished,” said Pardo. “I’m proud to say it’s quite significant on the side of both clinical medicine and research.”