The NeuroMedical Center Recognized as the National MS Society’s ‘2017 Company on the Move’
On February 8, 2017, The NeuroMedical Center was recognized as the National MS Society’s ‘2017 Company on the Move’ for its outstanding commitment to people affected by multiple sclerosis in the Louisiana Community. MS specialist, Dr. April A. Erwin made the following remarks while accepting the award on behalf of The NeuroMedical Center at the Society’s annual ‘On the Move Luncheon’:
Thank you to the MS Society for recognizing the efforts of The NeuroMedical Center in leading the way for better MS care in the Baton Rouge area and beyond. As of today, we actively treat 1262 patients with MS at our center. We receive this honor today as a mandate to persevere in providing excellent care to patients and families affected by multiple sclerosis, to advocate for access to needed resources, and to marshal support from the community at large to improve quality of life, efficacy of treatments, and eradication of this disease process.
In the 5 years since I moved back to Baton Rouge after completing my MS fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., 6 new medications have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. However, access to these medications remains an obstacle in the changing landscape of healthcare and insurance coverage. The average annual cost of each MS medication is $60,000, and the total annual costs associated with the care and management of MS are second only to Congestive Heart Failure among all chronic diseases treated in the US. Additionally, many MS medications have very intense requirements for the monitoring of bloodwork and imaging studies. In the clinical setting, this translates to a set of daily challenges that extends far beyond keeping up our knowledge base as treatment paradigms for MS grow and change.
No matter how much I know about MS, I can’t single-handedly meet every need for more than 1200 MS patients, nor can I negotiate access to care for every patient. It takes a full team of people to do that, so it is appropriate today to recognize The NeuroMedical Center as a whole with the ‘Company On The Move Award.’ We work as a team to advocate for our patients, and to that end, we are in the process even now of hiring more staff for our prior authorization department, as well as more nursing staff to interact one on one with our MS patients.
We especially appreciate the MS Society for providing many valuable resources to MS patients both locally and nationwide, and we urge you to contribute generously to their valiant efforts on behalf of our patients. We could not care well for MS patients without the assistance of the MS Society.
Thank you for honoring us with this award today. We promise that we will continue striving to partner with our MS patients and with all of you to address each challenge along the way, and we hope to serve you even better in 2017 than we have in prior years.
Dr. Erwin has led The NeuroMedical Center in MS care since joining the practice in 2012. In 2016, Dr. Erwin was named a ‘Partner in MS Care’ by the Society for her demonstrated knowledge and experience in treating MS. Dr. Erwin is now the only physician in the Baton Rouge area, and one of only five neurologists in the entire state of Louisiana to earn this special designation by the largest multiple sclerosis organization in the world. Dr. Erwin has also earned recognition for her work in the field of MS research, serving as the primary or sub-primary investigator for 10 MS clinical trials. She is also the author of multiple publications in MS-related medical and scientific journals.
The ‘On the Move Luncheon’ is a nationwide program created by the National MS Society to empower communities with the knowledge, inspiration and relentless resolve to end multiple sclerosis forever. Held in cities across the country, the luncheon maximizes our collective impact to change the world for people living with MS – one gift and one voice at a time.