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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Summer 2022

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Keeping your cool this summer | Welcome Melanie Kiely CEO | MSWA Stationary Cycle results | Pain and pain management series: Part 3

MEMBER & CLIENT SERVICES

MEMBER & CLIENT SERVICES NICOLA WASHINGTON GENERAL MANAGER MEMBER & CLIENT SERVICES Welcome to the summer edition of our Member & Client Services Bulletin. I hope you all had a lovely festive break and a wonderful start to the new year. Summer is certainly here! The heat through January has been unbelievable. I hope you have managed to find ways to keep cool – some tips can be found on page 16. It was great to end last year with our wonderful Client and Volunteer Christmas Party. We were entertained by the fantastic voice of Andrea Onamade along with our own talented Michaela Van Zuylen, one of our Occupational Therapists who has an amazing voice. Not forgetting DJ Santa and the Jingle Elves (Candice Preston, Jess Clarke and Esme Suter) who delighted us with their very comical act. Many thanks to everyone who worked behind the scenes to make our Christmas party work so well. You can see some pics on page 13. I think it is fair to say that 2022 is going to throw us some more challenges. Our workforce issues in WA are not going away any time soon. Geoff Hutchinson’s article on page 14 outlines the impact of labour shortages on the NDIS. On top of this, the Omicron variant will undoubtably also have an impact on workforce availability. At MSWA, we are working through all these issues to ensure that we can maintain our services to you safely and protect both you our Clients and our staff. However, there is likely to be some disruption. We will continue to update you on how we work through this as we continue to follow Government and health guidelines. We are very excited to see the Albany facility near completion. We are aiming to be in the new Services Centre by the end of February, all being well. I was at the site mid-January and it looks great, lots of space for services and the accommodation is fantastic. A very exciting time for our Albany staff and community. The third instalment of our Pain and Pain Management series titled ‘Sleep and Pain’ can be found on page 20. These series of articles regarding pain management that we have published over the past few editions have proven to be very informative and received some great feedback from Clients. We will continue to keep these articles going on such an important topic that affects so many. As I pen this article, we are looking forward to welcoming our new CEO Melanie Kiely. Melanie starts with us on 1 February 2022. We are all looking forward to Melanie starting as our new CEO and to her joining the team at MSWA. Welcome, Melanie. As always, your feedback is important to us so if you have anything you would like to share please contact us on 6454 3173 or feedback@mswa.org.au. MSWA Albany progress photo, January 2022. 6

RESEARCH RESEARCHER IN FOCUS: CLINICAL PROFESSOR ALLAN KERMODE MSWA is proud to continue funding the Perron Institute’s Demyelinating Diseases Research group, led by group Director and Clinical Professor Allan Kermode. Professor Kermode and his team’s research on demyelinating diseases seeks to improve understanding by exploring conditions where damage has occurred to the myelin sheath -– the protective covering around the nerve fibres in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. “Our research focuses on the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) – its origin and how it evolves,” Professor Kermode said. “We look at individual cells from lesions in the brain and dissect them to understand their nature. “The team documents how the lesions have grown, the types of the cells in and around the lesion, their biological mechanisms and how they may be involved in the development of MS. “Ultimately, we hope to unravel the cause of MS and to find the cure.” Professor Kermode and his team also conduct clinical studies at the Perron Institute and the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University. This provides an opportunity for people with MS to contribute to further understanding of the disease. People are able to enrol in a study which tracks their appointments and results, generally without any requirement for further action or additional appointments beyond what is already part of the treatment plan. For Clients, typically a clinician will ask for consent, and nothing further is needed. It is hoped additional understanding of the nature of MS can be obtained from blood tests and spinal fluid samples. Professor Kermode’s team is currently looking to see if there are genetic indicators through biomarkers or tissue typing to understand links between the different types of MS. Ultimately, this can influence the patient’s current treatment plan, determine if the MS may now be benign or even determine the possibility of relapse. The team is hopeful the research can produce better treatment plans, or an earlier diagnosis of which type of MS, and how the different lesions behave or react to treatments. This is the 4th year that MSWA has funded Prof Kermode’s research for demyelinating diseases. For more information on the research projects MSWA are supporting, visit mswa.org.au 7