What Took Place at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center's Annual Meeting? HOPE
The four days I spent at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center's annual meeting was, well, simply incredible, unbelievable, surreal, interesting and amazing.
I stepped into the lobby of the Gaylord Hotel, walking along their red carpet that led me past a 19 story glass atrium wall overlooking National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac. With every step my heart beat faster, knowing what was about to begin.
I was getting closer to meeting the brilliant people I call my rock stars, the ones who are committed to making a difference in the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis.
The 30th annual Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) convened last week at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. It’s always an honor to attend this event. I get the chance to hobnob with top healthcare professionals and researchers from around the globe who are there to offer the latest information, strategies and areas of exploration for attendees to learn and bring back to their practice.
From early morning through early evening each presentation has a united theme: How to improve the lives of MS patients.
One word, more than any other, was spoken: Hope.
But what exactly goes on at this conference?
In the next few weeks I’ll be writing about what I learned at the sessions I attended. I’ll also be sharing interviews I conducted with some incredibly dedicated professionals.
Here’s a quick look at a portion of what happened:
Daily Press Conferences – As part of the press corps I had the unique opportunity to be in the Press Room to meet key speakers prior to their lectures.
(Examples are Dr. Fred D. Lublin: Do Relapses Really Matter?; Susan Bennett, PT, DPT, EdD, NCS, MSCS: Current Trends in Rehabilitation; Clay Walker, musician and patient discussing his 20 year journey with MS and his neurologist Dr. Jerry Wolinsky: Milestones in MS – Mostly Missed When They Happened; Dr. Jack Antel: Multiple Sclerosis and Can the Damage Be Undone?;Francisco Quintana: How T Cells and B Cells Work Together)
What’s it All About? There are pages and pages of lectures and symposiums to choose from, plus professionals can obtain CME (Continuing Medical Education) credits that are offered through CMSC.
Topics for the sessions range from “Progressive MS: What We Now Know”and “Viruses in MS: PML and Beyond” to “Integrating Lifestyle Factors and Unconventional Medicine into MS Clinical Care” and “Yoga Moves MS: Awakening Inspiring and Empowering Lives.”
The list is impressive and I overheard many attendees mention how inclusive CMSC is by offering such a wide array of subjects.
Exhibit Hall: There were 72 exhibitors that included pharmaceutical companies, MS organizations, MS-related publishing companies, MS databases and registries, pharmacy innovations, apps, websites and unique online programs for MS patients, cooling and mobility manufacturers and information about adaptive yoga classes.
A special shoutout to the work being done by The Veterans Affairs Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence and United Spinal Association.
Three booths I enjoyed speaking with were MS-GO Event Calendar (a free service for local events, support groups and meetings. I am signed up in New Jersey and receive emails listing local events), Cure Fund (a patient advocacy organization) and MotherToBaby (a non-profit organization answering questions about medications and pregnancy).
Young Scholars: It was once again my great pleasure to attend The Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (FCMSC) luncheon to meet bright, articulate medical students, rehabilitation therapy trainees, resident scholars and fellows who are the “Workforce of the Future.”
I spoke to a few about their work and they were impressive. The FCMSC works hard to encourage medical students to choose MS as their main focus. We need more of them to choose this as their specialty. Fingers crossed!
This is a small portion of what took place at the annual meeting. In the next few weeks I’ll be writing more about it. In the meantime if you’re interested in learning more about the CMSC, or if you’d like to find articles, videos, webinars or any educational activities that take place please click here.
How well do people around you understand MS?