About MS Care

 
 

Our Mission

MS Care seeks to improve the delivery and utilization of effective treatments for chronic pain and depression in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) through the use of collaborative care, a specific type of integrated care.

MS Care’s goal is to enhance the existing comprehensive care found in the typical MS specialty care center. It is built around a care manager who represents a team of experts that includes the patient’s MS physician and a group of domain experts, specifically psychologists and psychiatrists with expertise in depression and/or chronic pain, as well as experts in the care of MS. MS Care involves telehealth, systematic tracking, and other systems-level changes to improve care and ensure that no patients "fall through the cracks".

MS Care also places great importance on the patient being an integral team member.  It builds upon existing patient strengths & self-management skills, while teaching additional strategies that help encourage a patient’s role in self-managing many aspects of their depression/pain, and in sharing decision-making about treatment options.

Our mission is also to conduct patient-centered research that engages people affected by MS; including patients, families, clinicians, MS organizations, and healthcare stakeholders throughout the research enterprise. Our stakeholders were an invaluable part of the MS Care intervention study. 

 

MS Care Team

 
 
dawn-ehde-200.png

dawn Ehde, PhD

Dawn is the principal investigator for the MS Care study.  She is a neuropsychologist and Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  Since 1998 she and her colleagues have conducted clinical trials evaluating behavioral, pharmacological, and physical activity interventions for chronic pain, depression, and fatigue in persons with MS. She is particularly interested in the use of telehealth and other innovations to improve access to quality pain and depression care.

kevin-alschuler-150.png

Kevin Alschuler, Phd

Kevin is a co-investigator on MS Care.  He is the attending clinical psychologist at the UW Medicine MS Center, Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, University of Washington.  Dr. Alschuler is serving as both a co-investigator and consultant focused on the non-pharmacologic management of pain and depression, and the integration of MS Care into the MS Center.

jesse-fann-200.png

jesse Fann, MD

Jesse is a psychiatrist and professor in Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Washington.  Dr. Fann is serving as both a co-investigator and a consultant on the pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic management of pain and depression in MS. 

ivan Molton, phd

Ivan is a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  Dr. Molton is serving as both a co-investigator and consultant for the non-pharmacologic management of pain and depression. 

mark-sullivan-200.png

Mark Sullivan, MD, PhD

Mark is psychiatrist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of Washington. Dr. Sullivan is a co-investigator and consultant for the pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic management of pain and depression in MS.

marciaciol-200.png

Marcia Ciol, PhD

Marcia is a biostatistician in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  She is conducting the statistical analyses for the MS Care study.

charles-bombardier-200.png

Chuck Bombardier, PhD

Chuck is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  Dr. Bombardier is a co-investigator assisting with study design and interpretation of findings.

annette-wundes-175.png

Annette Wundes, MD

Annette is Medical Director of the UW Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  Dr. Wundes is a co-investigator assisting with study design and interpretation of findings.

Mary Curran, MSW

Mary is a Care Manager for the MS Care Study at the UW Medicine Multiple Sclerosis Center. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and Lecturer at the University of Washington, School of Social Work. 

kevingertz-175.png

Kevin Gertz

Kevin is the Research Manager on MS Care. For nine years, he has managed research studies examining quality of life and pain management in persons with chronic medical conditions, including MS, with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington.  

sandrareeves-175.png

Sandra Reeves

Sandra is a Research Coordinator for the MS Care team. Prior to her role as Research Coordinator, Sandra had worked as a Medical Assistant at the UW MS Center for 2 years. She has extensive experience in providing direct patient care in MS, chronic pain, and depression. 

emilykoelmel-175.png

Emily Koelmel

Emily is a Research Assistant for MS Care.  She completed her Bachelors in Psychology and Studio Art, and wrote an honors thesis on social anxiety and spatial perception. 

lineajohnson-175.png

Linea Johnson

Linea is Stakeholder Lead on MS Care and a Research Coordinator with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Linea is also a national mental health advocate, speaker, writer and the co-author of Perfect Chaos: A Daughter’s Journey with Bipolar, A Mother’s Struggle to Save Her (St. Martin’s Press, 2012).  Her international experience includes working as an intern at the World Health Organization. She recently completed her graduate degree at Brown University in the Executive Masters in Health Care Leadership program.     

 

Statement of Gratitude

 
waynemountain.jpg
 
wayneupdated.png

dr Wayne Katon

We want to express gratitude to Dr. Wayne Katon, former vice chair of the University of Washington Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and a mentor and consultant on the MS Care study, who died in March 2015. Dr. Katon graciously provided consultation around the implementation of MS Care and insight on how to maintain the fundamentals and spirit of collaborative care in our work with MS patients coping with pain and depression.  A pioneer in making mental health care more accessible through the collaboration of psychiatry and primary care, Dr. Katon published a groundbreaking paper in 1995 entitled "Collaborative Management to Achieve Treatment Guidelines Impact on Depression in Primary Care" in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This work informed the eventual collaborative care model that MS Care was based upon and that over 80 randomized controlled trials around the world have validated since. Our model benefitted tremendously from the over three decades Dr. Katon and colleagues spent testing, developing, and integrating collaborative care into systems of health care to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of our patients. 

 

Partnering Organizations

 

The MS Care study was funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Award (IH-1304-6379). The information presented on this website is solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), its Board of Governors or Methodology Committee.