Program Notes: Knowledge is Power
By Peter Damiri
Vice President of Programs and Services
Recognizing that “Knowledge is Power,” MSAA offers a wide array of information, educational programs, and outreach to help the MS community stay updated and connected. To follow are details on these informative programs!
Organized and hosted by MSAA’s Directors of Education and Healthcare Relations, we are excited to launch a new series of informative, in-person educational programs taking place this fall and into 2020. Upcoming programs include: Women and MS; The Many Faces of MS – Exploring Diversity within Multiple Sclerosis; Understanding Your Rights as an Employee with MS: A Discussion on Employment and Workplace Accommodations; and MS Journey: Managing Your MS Through the Years.
These free educational programs provide an excellent opportunity for individuals with MS and their care partners to learn about the latest advances in MS, coping strategies, and healthcare management from many of the country’s leading experts. Additionally, MSAA’s educational programs offer a terrific opportunity for people to connect, share experiences, and build friendships. To learn more, please visit mymsaa.org/calendar or call (800) 532-7667.
In addition to the articles found in The Motivator, MSAA publishes a wealth of important information on many aspects involving MS. For details, please visit mymsaa.org/publications or call (800) 532-7667 to order copies of available publications.
An MS care partner recently noted, “I appreciate your ongoing support and know that the information you have provided has been invaluable to me,” said Merle B. of New Jersey. “The only ‘control’ I can have in this uncontrollable situation is to be as informed as I can be so that I can be an advocate for my husband.”
Podcasts and Expanded Digital Content
Earlier this year, MSAA launched several new and very exciting digital initiatives to create new content and expand our delivery of MS information. As part of the “MS and the Family” campaign, MSAA developed and produced educational podcasts, which are posted on our website and available on popular podcast networks including Apple, Android, Stitcher, etc. The four inaugural podcasts addressed the important aspects of MS and relationships, care partnering, diversity, and nutrition by leading healthcare professionals. Additionally, these topics were also explored by MS experts through national live-streamed webinars and Ask Me Anything (AMA) online chat programs.
Following the “Intimacy and Family Planning with MS” webinar, many viewers posted comments expressing their appreciation for MSAA spotlighting this important, but often under-discussed topic. Kristin W. from Michigan shared her thoughts about the presenter, Kimberly Castelo, a licensed marriage and family therapist who also has MS. “Kimberly’s presentation style was very engaging and easy to listen to,” noted Kristin. “I loved the real-time feel and pace of this presentation and Kimberly answering quick questions along the way. Thank you for offering this program!”
These archived webinars, podcasts, and AMAs can be accessed on MSAA’s website, mymsaa.org, by clicking on the tabs for Podcasts, MSi Videos, and My MSAA Community.
Also new this year was the creation of an online series to help report continual advances in MS treatment and care titled “What’s New in MS Research.” Distributed through email, this bimonthly digital article series highlights major announcements in the field of MS study. MSAA’s other bimonthly digital offering, My MSAA Today, is an e-newsletter that provides a variety of useful information. Receiving emails from MSAA is a great way to become informed. If you have not done so already, please visit mymsaa.org/signup to register and receive email updates.
Mobile Phone App
MSAA’s free mobile phone app, My MS Manager, helps users to manage their MS by tracking disease and symptom activity, storing medical information, and sharing charts and data with their healthcare team. In partnership with MSAA’s app developer, @Point of Care, we launched several new upgrades, including the addition of both cognition and depression patient self-assessment scales (adding to the app’s fatigue patient self-assessment scale) and 12 short educational videos as part of a comprehensive series titled “Understanding Multiple Sclerosis,” featuring MS expert neurologist Dr. Michelle Fabian. Plans are underway for additional patient self-assessment scales and other upgrades. The My MS Manager app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Links to download the app can be found at mymsaa.org/mobile or downloaded directly at the Apple App and Google Play stores.
MSAA’s Helpline is available to connect individuals with MS and their loved ones to our staff of trained and dedicated social-service professionals. Along with providing people with a wealth of resources and referrals, the Helpline staff offers a tremendous amount of encouragement, compassion, and empathy to our clients and their families. To connect with an MSAA Client Services Specialist, please call our toll-free Helpline at (800) 532-7667, ext. 154 between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm Eastern Time (ET), Monday through Friday, and until 8:00 pm ET on Wednesdays.