August 8, 2019

Independence Care System (ICS) joined today in celebrating BronxCare’s Multiple Sclerosis practice, which the MS Society has designated the Bronx’s only National MS Comprehensive Care Center. (Watch the News12 story.)

Serving approximately 500 people each year, BronxCare’s MS Center provides services that help individuals living with MS to remain as healthy and independent as possible. The Center receives support from MS Hope for a Cure, a charitable organization dedicated to helping those with MS, as well as ICS.

The Center is a close partner of ICS. Rachael Stacom, Senior Vice President of Population Health for ICS, which is an MS Society Partner in Care, works with BronxCare’s MS Center and practices there one day a week as a Nurse Practitioner.

Ms. Stacom said, “The people we serve are faced with many challenges that affect their ability to manage this disease. This means that we need to look beyond disease-modifying medication and assist in addressing the social determinants that affect their health.

“We really need to be adaptable and nimble and work with community resources so that we can maintain health and function, while preventing unwanted outcomes. The collaboration between BronxCare, ICS and MS Hope for a Cure allows us to do that. It brings together a diverse team of experts with specialized knowledge and skills so that we can treat the whole person and respond in ways that really keep them safe, help them understand their own changing needs, and provide them with the supports they need to remain in their community.”

Dr. Rene Elkin, BronxCare Chief of Neurology and Director of the MS Center, described the importance of comprehensive services for patients living with MS. “We are in a unique position to be able to provide the underserved diverse and often overlooked people living in the Bronx with MS with state of the art comprehensive care.”

Andrea Arzt, MS Society Director for Healthcare Provider Engagement said, “BronxCare has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in MS care, with tremendous and ongoing benefits to many people living with MS in this community. Our collaboration with the BronxCare MS Center is very important to us and we are proud to partner with them, along with MS Hope for a Cure, as the Center provides valuable comprehensive care to their patients.”

JoEllen Zembruski-Ruple, MS Society Manager of Healthcare Provider Engagement, added, “The BronxCare MS Center helps individuals live their best possible lives as they navigate the challenges of this disease. The care the Center offers is not only MS-expert, it is truly focused on treating the whole person.”

MS Hope Founder and Executive Director Elissa Levy said, “MS Hope for a Cure is proud to support the BronxCare MS Center’s dedicated and talented staff who provide excellent care to the underserved population of this area.”