UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care designated as a National Partners in MS Care facility

The UNC Health Care Center for Rehabilitation Care was recently presented with a certificate recognizing its new designation as a "Partners in MS Care – Rehabilitation" facility.

UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care designated as a National Partners in MS Care facility click to enlarge Kaye Gooch, Executive VP, National MS Society Greater Carolinas Chapter, presents the award to Diane Meyer, PT, MSCS, of UNC Health Care's Center for Rehabilitation Care.
UNC Center for Rehabilitation Care designated as a National Partners in MS Care facility click to enlarge CRC therapists take a group photo with Kaye Gooch at the award presentation. See the story for more details and the names of each therapist.

Rehabilitation Partners in MS Care is a national program which recognizes and supports quality care for people with multiple sclerosis and fosters strong collaboration between the Center for Rehabilitation Care (CRC) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The partnership will create optimal care and support for people living with MS.

"Becoming a partner in care is a unique opportunity to build on the quality care we already provide here at the CRC," said Diane Meyer, PT, Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist through the Consortium of MS Centers. "Through our collaboration with the MS Society, we will work toward further increasing availability of resources for individuals with MS and their care partners."

The designation recognizes the collaboration of various therapies – physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy – in continuing rehabilitation for MS patients.

"We congratulate the CRC's therapists on achieving the Partners in MS Care – Rehabilitation designation," said Joshua J. Alexander, MD, medical director of the CRC. "This award demonstrates both their expertise in, and commitment to, treating people with multiple sclerosis."

Through this collaboration, individuals with MS will be made aware of the expertise and opportunities available at the CRC. The therapists at the CRC have advanced knowledge about appropriate exercise and access to specialized technology, which allows them to provide individualized care for people with MS.

The team at the CRC also includes neuropsychologists and physiatrists (rehabilitation physicians) who work together with the therapy team and other health care professionals to provide comprehensive MS care. The program also will offer professional and patient education resources, including support groups and case management.

The nearby UNC Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation clinic at the CRC includes a rehabilitation neuropsychology team, which conducts evaluations for MS patients, recommends cognitive treatments, and demonstrates services to scholars from the UNC DPT MS Step Up program. A team of physiatrists also manages rehabilitation care for patients.

"As physiatrists, we collaborate and work with the neurologists, neuropsychologists, and therapists," noted Angela Lipscomb-Hudson, MD. "We help maximize the patients' medical care by helping to manage bowel or bladder issues, spasticity, pain, sleep, fatigue, and medications for mood."

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation also includes the Program on Integrative Medicine (PIM), which provides health-professions education about the use of complementary and alternative medicine for various conditions, and offers mind-body education programs, including mindfulness, mind-body skills training, and restorative yoga, which may be helpful as adjunctive therapies for those with MS.

"Partners in MS Care is a program that defines a shared commitment to people with MS," Kaye Gooch, executive vice president, National MS Society Greater Carolinas Chapter, emphasized in her speech. "Because of UNC's commitment and knowledge, we are proud to partner to enhance coordinated, comprehensive care for nearly 3,000 people who live with MS in the Triangle area."

The MS Society has also been an integral supporter in the development of UNC’s DPT MS Step Up Program.  MS patients benefit from the expertise of several UNC Hospitals therapists who graduated from this program. The CRC, through support of the MS Society, has hosted several eight-week "MS Free from Falls" programs.  Additionally, the CRC hosts meetings of the MS Society’s Volunteer Leadership Team.