Multiple Sclerosis Program
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center
The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at Sturdy Memorial Hospital was established in 1995 to provide individualized, specialized, and coordinated care and services to people with MS. Our goals are to minimize the impact of the disease process and to support our patients and their families through their journey by maximizing each person’s physical and emotional well-being. The MS Center provides care to both the local community and patients who travel from a distance, some patients travel from as far a Springfield, MA and Rhode Island.
A personalized MS treatment plan is formulated including medications, individualized exercise program, adaptive equipment, and referrals to other specialists, agencies, or other needed resources. Family members and loved ones are welcomed and encouraged to visit the MS Center with the patient to provide support.
The MS Center utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to optimally address the complex needs of people with MS. Our team consists of neurologists, a physical therapist (PT), certified nurses, and social workers. At every visit, each member of the team will perform an evaluation and collaborate to make recommendations for dealing with MS related problems the patient may be experiencing. Communication is key to our team approach, and you are an important part of the team. Your feelings and opinions will be part of the information that is considered when developing your plan of care.
Plan of Care
Our team meets to discuss their findings and to develop a plan of care. This team meeting is the strength of the interdisciplinary approach because it facilitates communication and fosters coordination of care.
Treatments may involve:
- Medical management of MS and related symptoms
- Management of Medtronic pump for pain and spasticity
- Botox® for migraine headaches and spasticity
- Infusion therapy including intravenous steroids and MS intravenous disease modifying therapies: Tysabri, Ocrevus, Rituxan, or Lemtrada
- Physician, nursing, physical therapy (PT), and social services assessments
- Individual PT exercise programs and referrals for outpatient PT and/or Occupational Therapy (OT)
Referrals to other services which include, but are not limited to, physical therapy, imaging, neurosurgeons, weight management, psychiatric services, endocrinology, rheumatology, and VNA.
Please allow at least one hour for your appointment. After the initial intake by the nurse you will have an individual appointment with a neurologist. Each team member will perform an evaluation and collaborate to make recommendations for dealing with MS related problems you may be experiencing. Suggestions may include medications, an individualized exercise program, adaptive equipment or referrals to other specialists, agencies, or other resources.
We require all patients at the center to have a primary care physician. We know that many people with MS would like to continue to see their current neurologists and attend the MS Center. This is possible. Regular reports can be sent to your neurologist and primary care physician to keep him/her informed of your progress.
The MS Center services are covered by most insurance plans however, we advise you to obtain prior authorization from your insurer before coming to the center.
Frequency Of Visits
How often the patient comes to the MS Center will vary according to their individual needs. If their disease is stable, they may need to visit only once or twice a year. More frequent visits may be necessary if there are changes in their status or if they experience specific problems that need attention. On subsequent visits, they may only need to see the team member necessary for their needs at that time.