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Northwestern Medicine multiple sclerosis program earns national designation
Date:3/28/2011

wo full-time, dedicated nurses who are certified by the International Organization of MS Nursing (IOMSN). The affiliated MS clinic at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago provides disease-focused physical, occupational and speech therapy, orthotic assessment and implementation, and therapeutic programs to optimize function and quality of life for the MS patient.

"By combining the expertise and resources of multiple disciplines, we are able to offer a well-linked program that provides the best care to our patients," said Sliwa, who is also a professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Feinberg School. "Patients receive active coordination between different aspects of care that addresses the whole person, not just the disease process. In recent years, medical centers are increasingly evolving to this integrated model of care for treating MS."

In order to be named a Comprehensive Care Center by the NMSS, programs must demonstrate MS expertise and experience, professional focus on MS including involvement in research and NMSS activities, and the ability to address all of the complex needs of someone with the disease. The three year designation requires a rigorous application process and site visit; Northwestern's program was designated on its first attempt.

Since meeting as residents, Cohen and Sliwa have seen firsthand tremendous advancements in the treatment of MS. "We began treating patients 25 years ago with only steroids, but treatment has really advanced since then with new pharmaceutical options that favorably alter the course of the disease, suppress acute symptoms and treat persistent symptoms," said Cohen. "Today, funding exists for research programs that are contributing to even better options for these patients. MS is on the verge of tremendous developments in rehabilitation therapies and new drugs to treat symptoms."

While MS is not yet a curable disease, research continues to provide
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Contact: Megan McCann
memccann@nmh.org
312-926-5900
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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