The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Program

MS Program Lead: Dr. Michael Yeung

The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Program provides multidisciplinary, population-based care to people with MS and other Central Nervous System (CNS) demyelinating disorders living in Southern Alberta and Southeastern British Columbia. We are “one program on two sites” with clinics at both Foothills Medical Centre and South Health Campus.  The clinics look after ~4500 patients living with CNS demyelinating disorders.

The services provided by our specialized clinical team, based on a chronic disease management approach, include medical, nursing, rehabilitation and counseling. Our goal is to prevent or lessen disability and optimize wellness. Our team also provides leadership in care delivery and regularly provides advice regarding policies related to MS care.

Education

The MS Program supports the education of trainees at all levels. Neurology residents do MS Clinic rotations in their junior and senior years. MS fellows are involved in care and research.  MS fellowships at the University of Calgary MS Program can be either clinical- or research-based, and can be from one to two years. Previous MS Fellows are now practicing across Canada (Edmonton, Vancouver Island, Montreal, Saskatoon, Red Deer, Calgary), the United States (Nebraska), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh, Jeddah), and Trinidad/Tobago (Port of Spain) in both academic and community settings.

Research

The MS program is well recognized for its research strengths. In association with the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, research includes translational research, clinical and epidemiological research, basic science, innovations in imaging and trial design, and clinical trials. Several investigator-initiated trials are ongoing in RRMS and progressive MS.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the processes of the MS Clinic.  For 10 weeks, the SHC nursing and clerical  staff of the MS clinic were amalgamated into the FMC clinic as these SHC staff were re-deployed in response to the pandemic.  This was a hectic time for nursing and clerical at FMC.  Clinic “visits” were primarily “virtual”.  Some treatments were also delayed or cancelled.  In addition to the tireless efforts of the nursing and clerical staff, the program’s early and effective use of electronic (“paperless”) documentation, communications, and test result delivery were important factors in providing the necessary clinical care during this time.  The clinics have continued to evolve and adapt as more knowledge is gained about the pandemic and its effect upon our patient population.

New referrals are triaged as urgent, semi-urgent or routine. Wait times for new referrals have been tracked

Members

Neurologists: Katayoun Alikhani, Tyson Brust, Jodie Burton, Kevin Busche, Carlos Camara-Lemarroy, Jonathan Fridhandler, Chris Hahn, Marcus Koch, Scott Jarvis, Wei-Qiao Liu, Luanne Metz (Research Lead), David Patry, Michael Yeung

Physiatrist: Dan McGowan

Neuro-psychiatrists: Aaron Mackie, Scott Patten, Rory Sellmer

Nurse Practitioner: Colleen Harris