Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Health

Cutting the Ribbon and Travel   

New Abby Clinic opening April 9 keeps Chilliwack MS patients closer to home and encourages treatment

By Vanessa Broadbent, FV Scotiabank MS Walk/Website photo

 

s of April 9, the Fraser Valley will have its own Multiple Sclerosis satellite clinic in the Fraser wing of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre.

 

Until now, there have only been two MS clinics in the Lower Mainland: one at UBC Hospital in Vancouver and the other at Burnaby Hospital.

 

MS Clinics provide comprehensive care to people with multiple sclerosis and serve as a source of education on multiple sclerosis to both the health care community and people living with multiple sclerosis and their caregivers.

People affected by MS living in the Fraser Valley have had to travel a lengthy distance to a MS Clinic. The combination of MS symptoms, long distance and inadequate transportation options created an unyielding barrier to travelling to visit a MS neurologist or specialist.

Consequently, many people living with MS were not going to the MS Clinic and were not getting the specialized care that they needed.

Erin Coghlan, Chair of the Fraser Valley Chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, saw a MS clinic located in the Fraser Valley as the perfect solution.

“I know that travelling the distance to the MS clinics is a huge issue for people living affected by MS in the Fraser Valley,” she says.

So, Coghlan took it upon herself to look into what it would take to open a clinic in the Fraser Valley. Along with MS Society staff she met with Dr. Galina Vorobeychik, who started and implemented the Burnaby MS clinic ten years ago. Along with the support of the Fraser Health Authority and key staff, it was decided that a satellite clinic was necessary and could be supported. 

The clinic will initially run 2 days a month with potential to increase as demand grows. The Clinic is for patients already established at the Fraser Health MS Clinic at Burnaby Hospital who live in the Fraser Valley and who have difficulty travelling to Burnaby.

Coghlan explains, “That this clinic will have a huge impact on people affected by MS in the Fraser Valley. They will now get the specialized care they deserve much closer to home”.

For more information, contact the FH MS Clinic at Burnaby Hospital via e-mail here or call 604-412-6405

 

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