The center provides weekly rehab services to 25 patients who have fairly severe MS symptoms. When the remodeled facility opens next year, it will have space and equipment to serve up to 100 patients.
Dr. Sharon Lynch, who directs the program, says traditional rehab programs provide only a few weeks of direct services, and then expect the patient to continue at home.
“MS, you know, it’s a constantly changing and worsening process, and so patients don’t get as much benefit if they have to stop doing their therapy," Lynch says. "So this program allows people to basically optimize what they have, and then maintain it for years.”
63-year-old Anne Hussar, of Overland Park, has been living with MS symptoms since 1990. She says it’s hard to stay motivated to do her therapy at home by herself.
“Doing it in a group, with therapists, gives you more incentive to work on improving your strength," she says.
The MS Achievement Center at KU Med is one of only about half a dozen programs in the country that provide MS rehab on a long-term basis.