Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

What I’ll Learn In The Big Easy About Multiple Sclerosis

In a few weeks I’ll be heading to The Big Easy for The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers annual meeting. As the blogger for CMSC I’ll have a front row seat to this incredible four-day event that’s packed with programming for MS health professionals.

Multiple Sclerosis

I’ll be surrounded by thousands of delegates and exhibitors under one roof who share a common goal: To improve the lives of those affected by multiple sclerosis.

Do I feel blessed to be able to spend four days with them?

You bet I do.

Multiple Sclerosis

The landscape of Multiple Sclerosis has drastically changed since my 1986 diagnosis. In those early days I’d spend hours at the library searching for information about my new disease. Librarians scratched their heads when I asked for help, then quickly directed me to the card catalog to look for answers.

In the end I barely found enough literature to educate myself on what MS was and what I could do to stay healthy, if at all.

Today I feel as if I’m living a dream because I’m able to meet world renowned MS leaders face-to-face who can give me answers. As a blogger I’m excited to write what I learn. As a patient I’m filled with gratitude for the huge strides being made to help the MS community.   

“Our four day agenda is filled with lectures, symposia, workshops, roundtables, and dinner programs that will enhance professional practice and improve treatment outcomes in multiple sclerosis.” ~The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers

Multiple Sclerosis

The meeting also provides a comprehensive educational component to keep professionals up-to-date on the latest in clinical practice and research.

“There are over 130 educational hours to meet the needs of our multi-disciplinary learners: physicians, nursing professionals, rehabilitation specialists, mental health experts, advocates, and pharmacists. This year’s agenda features national and international experts on comprehensive care and research, basic information for novice clinicians, advanced clinical courses to enhance professional performance, and specific tracks for neurologic clinicians, nursing professionals, rehabilitation specialists, mental health specialists, and patient advocates. A wide variety of educational experiences await our multidisciplinary delegates.” ~The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers

As I enter my 31st year of living with MS I’m also looking at a certain age ending in zero in the not-too-distant future. These milestones remind me that aging and MS are part of my reality, and I’m concerned how I’ll function in the coming years. Once again I need to know more.

What research has been done on an aging MS population? What types of programs for health, education, physical activity, emotional support and financial planning are available? How do we plan for an unpredictable future? What is healthy aging? What social resources are available? How can I access high quality care? What is the current data on mortality and MS? The list of questions are endless.

I used to think the topic of aging and MS was understudied, but now thanks to some amazing people that’s no longer true.

One of them is Marijean Buhse, a professor at Stony Brook University and nurse practitioner at South Shore Neurologic Associates P.C. Marijean is concerned with improving health care in older adults and her work reflects that concern. I look forward to interviewing her to see what I can learn. Please stay tuned.

Multiple Sclerosis

Flashback: Residents focusing on MS care gathered at the 2016 CMSC annual meeting. The future of MS care is in their hands. Onto the 2017 residents.

I’ll be conducting other fascinating interviews in New Orleans and when I return I’ll be writing several posts about them, along with other news and information I think is important for you to know. I hope you’ll be on the lookout for them.

NOTE: Please follow the conference on Twitter with the hashtag #CMSC2017

If you’re interested in attending the 2017 CMSC annual meeting please click here to register.


Photo Credit: The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers


13 thoughts on “What I’ll Learn In The Big Easy About Multiple Sclerosis

  1. Cathy Sikorski

    Oh I can’t wait. You know how important this is to me as well. I’m especially interested in your interview with Marijean as aging issues are near and dear to my heart. Enjoy!

    1. Post author

      Thanks, Cathy. I do know how near and dear this is to you, and the work you do with the elderly is extraordinary. Marijean is incredible and I can’t wait to write up that interview. I’ll keep you posted,dear friend.

  2. Sherry Macdonald

    I can’t wait to hear what you learn. I work with clients with MS and over 70. I can tell you the number one thing that makes a difference in them is nutrition. Not only what they eat but what the body uses and why. Have a fun time! Thanks for posting!

  3. Donna

    I hope it is everything you want it to be. It sounds like such an incredible opportunity, and I hope you have some time to explore New Orleans also. Incredible food and people! Have fun, learn a lot and meet lots of great people.

  4. Helene Cohen Bludman

    Oh, I know how much you look forward to this event. It is so cool that you are the official blogger and get to be front and center to hear all the exciting new developments in MS research. Can’t wait to hear all about it! Have a wonderful time!

  5. Tresa Miller

    As always, you are on the leading edge as our advocate! {You know New Orleans is in the south, my little Yankee?}

  6. Beth Ann Podsobinski

    Congratulations on all your work and education! I was 1st considered to have MS, but as a retired, disabled (to soon) Pedi NP, iI had been to many lectures over the years. I found some lecture notes, read and realized that i had a different Neuromuscular disease and by a persistent Neuro doc, had ended up on the right meds way before the diagnosis. Spastic Hereditary Paraparesis…..seldom found in a hereditary tree was exactly what I had. I often wonder how many MS patients are misdiagnosed. The Neurologist who wrote the 1st paper I found, was in NYC. I never went to him, and did not make another appointment with the doc who put me on the right meds. They gave it another general diagnosis at the time. It may be something to question in NO and your own Neurologist. It is worth knowing about.
    Good Luck and how wonderful for your work. I hope to become more invested in the help, once I get moved back to PA. I grew up with Cathy Sikorski. She is awesome!!

  7. Tina Trott

    I, too, am looking forward to hearing new information on the management of MS. Such a fabulous meeting every year. So happy that you are part of it!

    1. janet tancredi

      Cathy, I’m not really an envious person. But, I sure am envious of you being able to attend this incredible event. Just the fact of having MS for so long and having the capabilities to endure it all. I’m not sure I could do it anymore. Can’t wait to hear all about what you learn. Safe travels!

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