New MS Educational Program Seeks to Improve Care in Women

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by Kara Elam |

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inspiring MS storiesThis week the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) in collaboration with The France Foundation, a provider of continuing medical education have launched a new educational program focused on the important issues that affect women with multiple sclerosis (MS), entitled, “Strategies to Improve the Care of MS in Women.”  The aim of this program is to provide clinicians with knowledge and expertise to successfully evaluate, treat, and manage their female patients with MS. Issues that will be discussed include family planning, managing pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause as well as guidance on an OB/GYN approach to MS patients.

The Program will be taught by experts in the field of MS research and patient care, including:

  • Jacqueline Bernard, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Chicago Medical Center: Bernard specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with neurological conditions such as MS. She is a lead investigator for MS clinical trials and has been studying the neurodegenerative aspects of MS, as well as hormonal influences on the disease, particularly in the peri-menopausal state.
  • Susan Rubin, MD, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine: Dr. Rubin’s research interest focuses on learning more about women’s health issues as they relate to neurologic disease and the impact of hormones on neurologic disease, such as MS.
  • Patricia K. Coyle, M.D, Professor, Department of Neurology, Vice Chair, Clinical Affairs Director, MS Comprehensive Care Center, Stony Brook Medicine University Physicians: Dr. Coyle is a Director of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and has held numerous leadership positions in the American Academy of Neurology, American Neurological Association, and National MS Society. She also has active Research Programs in MS.
  • Joy A. Derwenskus, DO, Associate Professor in Neurology, Ken and Ruth Davee Department, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine: Derwenskus specializes in researching new therapeutic drug targets to advance the understanding and treatment of MS.

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In a press release about the program, Dr. Bernard noted that, “Multiple Sclerosis is the leading cause of neurological disability in young adults worldwide, and affects women more than 3 times as often as men. We are thrilled to have this opportunity to share information on gender issues in MS, and hope this is just the beginning of an important dialogue between health care providers and their patients, about the many ways MS intersects with women’s lives across their reproductive life span.”

The educational program will include the following 5 video based webinars:

  • “Diagnosis and Management of Sexual Dysfunction,” presented by Drs. Bernard and Rubin.
  • “Pregnancy and the MS Patient: Pre-pregnancy through Post-Partum,” presented by Drs. Bernard and Coyle.
  • “Key Considerations for the MS Patient and Breastfeeding,” presented by Drs. Bernard and Coyle.
  • “Menarche, Menstruation, Menopause, and MS,” presented by Drs. Bernard and Coyle.
  • “Contraceptive Techniques,” presented by Drs. Derwenskus and Rubin.

The program will provide the following complimentary continuing medical education (CME) and continuing nursing education (CNE) activities: a live, multispecialty, panel discussion, video-based webinars, and patient communication tools.

About CMSC

CMSC, the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, is the leading educational, training, and networking organization for MS healthcare professionals and researchers. The CMSC mission is to promote quality MS care through educational programming and accreditation including live and online events, research grants, technical journals and papers, and targeted advocacy efforts. The CMSC member network includes more than 7,000 international healthcare clinicians and scientists committed to MS care as well as more than 60 Veterans Administration MS Programs and 225 MS Centers in the US, Canada, and Europe. The 2015 CMSC Annual Meeting will take place May 27-30, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  For more information go to

About the France Foundation

The France Foundation is accredited with commendation by the ACCME (Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education) to provide continuing education credit for physicians, and accredited by the ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) to provide continuing education credit for pharmacists. Since inception in 1999, The France Foundation has been on the forefront of the planning, development, and implementation of multidisciplinary accredited education. TFF specializes in curriculum-based education aimed at improving learners’ performance as health care providers.

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