Greetings from the Northeast! An Update from Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Northeast Regional Director

By Lauren Hooper

Greetings from your Northeast Regional Director! As summer begins to wind down and fall approaches, MSAA has a few educational programs lined up in the Northeast Region, and I hope you’ll consider joining us if there are any coming up in your area.

On Tuesday, August 27th, I traveled to Morristown, NJ for a program on symptom management in MS that focused on helping patients to identify the overall range of MS symptoms (especially symptoms with treatment options available) and how to best address them with their professional care team. Dr. Mary Ann Picone from Holy Name MS Center was the guest speaker, and she made sure to answer every attendee’s question during the Q&A session. It was such an interactive program, and as everyone was leaving, a few people stopped to tell me how nice it was to be able to talk to a physician outside of the clinical setting. Everyone seemed relieved to have had all of their questions addressed, and I was thrilled that they benefited so much from the program.

In September, my travels will take me to Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maryland. On September 14th, I’ll travel to Bangor, ME for a patient program on “Tackling the Everyday Challenges: Recent Breakthroughs in MS Symptom Management & What’s to Come” ( On September 21st, I’ll be in Braintree, MA for a program designed for parents and children to help build a better understanding of MS, called “Bridging the Communication Gap between Parents with MS and their Children” ( On September 25th, I will head to Burlington, VT for a patient program on “Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis” ( And I’ll wrap up September in Baltimore, MD on September 28th with a patient program focusing on the African American experience with MS entitled “A Closer Look at the African American Community and Multiple Sclerosis” (

Later this fall, I am also planning on holding programs in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, and I hope to get back to New York before the end of the year as well. If you don’t see a program in your area, please keep checking our Calendar of Events ( regularly, as we are constantly adding new programs. I hope to see you at a program soon!

* Lauren Hooper is the Northeast Regional Director at MSAA.

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Hello from the Northeast Region!

Hi all! As the Northeast Regional Director, I plan all of MSAA’s educational programming from Maine to Washington DC. My territory may not look very big on the map, but don’t be fooled! I cover Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, DC. I spend a lot of time traveling throughout the Northeast hosting educational programs for patients, and the last month has been very busy  here.

This week, I wrapped up a four-program series called “MS Update 2013: What’s New in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis?” that focused on the latest treatment options in the management of MS. There were three programs in April—one  in Freehold, NJ with Dr. Amos Katz, one in Plymouth Meeting, PA with Dr. Thomas Leist, and one in Cherry Hill, NJ with Dr. Donald Barone—and  the last program was held on May 8th in Staten Island, NY with Dr. Allan Perel. Each program had a lengthy question and answer session at the end, and everyone who attended was encouraged to ask the presenting doctor any questions they had about the currently-approved FDA therapies, research, and general questions about MS. It seemed like everyone learned a lot at these programs, and I was impressed by their thoughtful questions!

In the last month, my travels also took to me Syracuse, NY and Amherst, NY for patient programs on “Managing MS Relapses” with Dr. Lev Goldiner and Dr. Peter Kinkel, respectively. I also made it down to McLean, VA in the DC Metropolitan area, for a patient program on “Managing Your MS” with Dr. James Simsarian and his nurse practitioner, Alona Williamson.

I am so fortunate to be able to attend these programs and meet so many wonderful people that make me so grateful to be able to do the work that I do. At a smaller, more intimate program last month, I had the opportunity to speak with a young man who diagnosed with MS a few weeks before the program, and just days before his wife gave birth to their new baby. I was so inspired by his positive outlook about his diagnosis and wanting to learn as much as possible about MS, so he could self-advocate to ensure he would receive the best care possible.

As many of you know, MSAA hosts hundreds of educational events for both patients and healthcare providers each year. If you live in the Northeast and are interested in attending a program, two are coming up: The Changing Landscape of MS: What Does It Mean for Patients? with Dr. Rock Heyman in Pittsburgh, PA on May 15th and Managing MS Relapses with Dr. Scott Newsome and Kathleen Costello in Baltimore, MD on June 6th. I am also in the process of planning patient programs in Erie, PA, Rochester, NY, Burlington, VT, Maine and New York City over the next few months, and am hoping to expand that list.

Add our Calendar of Events to your bookmarks and check in every so often to see if there is an event in your area! I hope to see you at an event soon!

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