National recertification means UF Health remains the premier location for treatment of MS.
UF Health remains the premier location in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, as evidenced by a prestigious designation from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The society has recertified UF Health Neurology – Jacksonville as a Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care. The Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Program, part of the UF Health Neuroscience Institute, has held the certification for nearly a decade. This is the third time the program has been recertified.
The designation means UF Health is a “one-stop shop” for people with multiple sclerosis, or MS — an autoimmune illness affecting the central nervous system, with symptoms including numbness, impaired speech and muscular coordination, blurred vision and severe fatigue. UF Health has the only MS program in the region that is certified as comprehensive by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The program features a multidisciplinary team consisting of specially trained neurologists, a nurse practitioner, occupational and speech therapists, a patient care navigator and a case manager. They combine their skills to optimize and personalize care for each patient. Other program resources include patient education, physician-led support groups for MS patients and their families, a dedicated social worker to coordinate counseling and emotional support services, and a team of researchers who offer the most promising MS treatments available only in clinical trials.
“We operate at the highest level of affiliation with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society,” said Scott Silliman, MD, a UF Health neurologist and director of the MS program. “Because certification is difficult to attain, we are pleased to have held this certification for almost 10 years. It speaks to the quality of services we continuously provide for people with MS.”
The program is one of the largest clinical MS programs in the Southeast, caring for nearly 1,000 patients. Although many of the program’s patients live in the greater Jacksonville area, referrals come from as far south as Melbourne, as far west as Pensacola and as far north as Savannah, Georgia. The program has recently begun an in-depth research study on telemedicine and its application to rehabilitation, mobility and the delivery of stable neurologic care to people in rural and underserved areas.
“Multiple sclerosis is difficult to diagnose, and it’s equally as difficult to find a specialty center that accepts your insurance and also has the expertise and leading-edge technology to manage this very rare, yet dynamic, neurological disorder,” said Adam Chaifetz, DC, coordinator for the MS program. “Our facility is the only Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center south of Atlanta and north of Orlando. The only other comparable centers in Florida are in Tampa and Miami.”
More than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There is no cure for MS, although its symptoms and disease progression can be managed.
For more information about the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Program at UF Health Jacksonville or to request an appointment, visit UFHealthjax.org/neurology or call 633.1022.
Medical Director, Comprehensive Stroke Program; Program Director, Vascular Neurology Fellowship