Veterans Affairs and National MS Society Team Up to Better Care for Vets with This Disease

Veterans Affairs and National MS Society Team Up to Better Care for Vets with This Disease

Complementing its nationwide network of multiple sclerosis (MS) research and clinical services centers, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has teamed up with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) to improve care for the veterans it serves and their families.

The VA and the NMSS partnership was formalized on March 6, and will focus on policy, educational, and research efforts.

According to VA, some 20,000 veterans have MS, and are cared for annually in the Veterans Health Administration — an integrated health care system serving about 9 million enrolled people each year at centers across the country.

“MS can be an overwhelming challenge for those who are fighting the disease and their loved ones who care for them,” Robert Wilkie, VA secretary, said in a news release. “VA recognizes and values the strength of collaborations with our external partners, which can help increase access to care and lead to a more fulfilled quality of life.”

According to Wilkie, the VA is working with veterans and their caregivers, the medical community, MS support groups, and veterans organizations to bolster the initiative.

Established in 2003 by the Veterans Health Administration, the VA’s MS Centers of Excellence (MSCoE) seeks to improve MS diagnosis and treatment through a host of regional support programs. The MSCoE is focused on clinical care, research and development, education and training, and state-of-the-art informatics and telemedicine to improve healthcare delivery.

One of the VA’s main goals is to improve the quality and consistency of healthcare services delivered to veterans with MS. For caregivers, the MSCoE offers an array of support resources, including VA Caregiver Support. Among other services, the program offers peer support mentoring and tips and tools.

NMSS also has an array of resources and support programs for MS patients and their families, a number of which can be found on this group webpage. The society has also invested $1.06 billion in research funding to date.

“Veterans living with multiple sclerosis need our support,” Cyndi Zagieboylo, president and chief executive officer of NMSS, said. “This agreement is a very clear commitment from the federal government and the society that we are here for them — and will be here for them.”

According to a latest report from NMSS, it is estimated that almost one million U.S. residents have MS.

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6 comments

  1. Daniela says:

    my husband have MS and I’m trying to find a way to get him some medicine. The doctor took him off medicine and he have no white blood cell count but a few if there’s any way you can help me please let me know thank you so much

    • Tim says:

      I will advice you see a specialist. Having no white blood cell isn’t a good sign of sound health. Why will the doctor stop your husband from taking his drugs. You need an explanation.

      Please act fast as his health is at risk. I pray he gets better soon.

    • Mike says:

      If service connected, MS has a minimum rating of 30%. You have to have shown signs while on active duty or be diagnosed within 7 years of discharge. Contact your county VSO, the VFW, PVA or DAV for more info.

  2. Tongia Moore says:

    I am looking for a support group in Alabama. I am a veteran and I would love to have a support group to attend. Please help.

  3. Charlene says:

    How can we get the VA approve Ocrevus (FDA approved for relapsing or primary progressive forms of MS on March 28, 2017) as treatment for Veterans with MS. This breakthrough drug is doing wonders for MS patients. But the VA will only approve Rituxan for my husband. While it is significantly less costly, it is not FDA approved for MS, but rather specifically for lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Before Ocrevus, this it is understandable that Rituxan was his option, as it somewhat is an effective treatment. But if there is a breakthrough drug that can do wonders for our US veterans with Multiple Sclerosis, money should not compromise the quality care our US veterans deserve, especially after serving our country.

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