On Saturday, March 18, more than 100 multiple sclerosis patients and their support partners from across Oklahoma and five other states attended a Can Do Multiple Sclerosis JUMPSTART Program at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
OMRF’s Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence treats more than 2,500 patients who suffer from MS and provides diagnosis, treatment, physical therapy and clinical trials.
The JUMPSTART program was held in collaboration with Can Do MS out of Avon, Colo., and the National MS Society. Can Do MS connects the expertise of industry professionals from across the field of MS care management, including neurologists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, registered nurses, physicians and nutritionists.
“We believe knowledge is power, especially when dealing with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis,” said OMRF neurologist Tania Reyna, M.D., who welcomed patients, their families and caregivers to the all-day event. “These types of programs are conducive for learning, and we are particularly pleased to see the interaction of the support partners, which is an important component of patient care.”
Participants heard presentations from health professionals and participated in round-table discussions on activities for daily living, cognition and “GPS for Your MS.” Support partners also gathered for targeted workshops that provided resources and information to assist them in caring for the MS patient in their lives.
MS damages the nervous system’s ability to carry signals to and from the brain. The disease can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including problems with vision, tremors, paralysis, muscle spasms, imbalance and cognitive changes.
The educational and interactive program is designed to share knowledge, skills and tools to help MS patients adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors and actively manage their MS. Topics covered ranged from dealing with cognitive and fatigue issues to goal-setting, nutrition, exercise and maintaining emotional well-being.
“OMRF’s MS Center of Excellence is widely known as one of the country’s top MS treatment and care facilities, so we were excited to kick off our 2017 JUMPSTART events here in Oklahoma City,” said Can Do MS Programs Manager Laura Coyne.
The JUMPSTART Program is sponsored by Sanofi Genzyme and Teva Neuroscience.