Role of the MS Care Team Members

Neurologist – Doctor of medicine who is an expert in the field of neurological diseases, specifically those of the neuromuscular junction and MS, whose primary aim is to make certain of the diagnosis; conducts meticulous and thorough neurological examinations; takes a thorough medical and family history; orders a variety of diagnostic tests; examines the individual course of the disease; provides symptomatic treatments; responds to the patient and family's medical questions; and leads the MS Care team to assure that integrated care is delivered to the patient.

Nurse Coordinator – Works directly with patients to assess their general medical status and adherence to prescribed therapies; provides health teaching and disseminates educational information to patients and caregivers; informs patients of various resources they can use as they live and adjust to their diagnosis; makes necessary referrals; oversees the day-to-day activities of the program; and coordinates patient referrals to other professional members of the team.

Nurse Practitioner – Provides direct patient care in an advance practice manner, including physical assessment, neurological examinations, and symptom management; and integrates medical and nursing aspects of care to provide a comprehensive plan of care.

Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner – Provides direct patient care in an advance practice manner, including psychiatric-mental health assessments, physical examinations, symptom management, and psychopharmacologic management and integration of medical psychiatric aspects of care based in a psychoeducational model of care.

Social Worker – Provides patients and caregivers with insurance information and benefit eligibility; discusses family's concerns regarding patient care at home; offers counseling on issues of coping with MS; discusses long-term care planning; and assists patients and families in finding financial alternatives to make ends meet.

Occupational Therapist – Enhances the performance of the activities of daily living; helps patients access their environment, both cognitively and functionally; recommends home exercise programs to promote strength of arms and hands, as well as adaptive equipment for energy conservation and work simplification.

Physical Therapist – Evaluates patient mobility with the goal of maintaining independence while making life activities manageable; develops home exercise programs focused on joint mobility and muscle tone, coordination, and access; and explores solutions for assistive devices, safety, and removal of architectural barriers at home.

Psychologist – Assists clients in their adjustment to living with MS through individual, family, or group psychotherapy and behavior modification programs; collaborates with the team physicians to develop and implement treatment and intervention programs so that patients can understand and comply with prescribed treatments.

Research Coordinator – Implements and tracks all research protocols at the Center under the direction of the medical director; conducts patient interviews and structured functional evaluations; oversees data management; handles Institutional Review Board communications and documentation; serves as liaison to sponsor organizations; and recruits research participants.

Research Assistant – Assists Research Coordinator in all aspects of clinical trials research.

Patient Advocate – Communicates with patients and families at the Center to provide supportive link to clinical services and team resources at the Center.

Project Coordinator, Professional Education & Patient Services – Coordinates client, community, and professional education activities, and special patient programs.

Administrative Assistant – Provides direct customer service related support to patients at the Center, including appointments, pre-certification for medical diagnostics and services, communications with the clinical staff, and medical record management.

Office Manager – Provides direct support to the medical director and clinical staff by overseeing all administrative activities within the Center, including supervision of administrative assistants; provides customer service quality assurance; integrates front office and clinical operations to assure consistent and organized patient care and interactions; and oversees total quality improvement systems.