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MSWA Bulletin Winter 2020

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  • Neurology
  • Conditions
  • Bulletin
  • Pathology
  • Counselling
  • Ndis
  • Telehealth
  • Neurological
  • Outreach
  • Mswa
Telehealth at MSWA, Feedback from Customer survey, Eating mindfully, Research roundup

FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO

FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO MARCUS STAFFORD CEO Throughout the COVID-19 restrictions of the last quarter, you may have heard me say “We’re here and we’re strong”. As we begin to emerge from the uncertainty, I shall now add the extension, “and we’re looking to the future”. Indeed, this winter feels like a type of springtime, as we welcome events back on the MSWA calendar and anticipate opening the doors of our Outreach Centres in July. The month of August is all about Readathon, which is a fantastic way to get you, and the kids in your world, reading and supporting MSWA. And a date has been confirmed for our MSWA Ocean Ride and with it the annual Members’ Ride. We’ve introduced a new Hip Hop Yoga event, which will fundraise for Customers with all neurological conditions. The inaugural session is happening virtually on a Zoom screen near you on 30 July. Be sure to read the What’s On section to find out more. On a service delivery level, solutions that were developed under the COVID-19 restrictions, such as Telehealth, are now being made permanent options, wherever appropriate. The silver lining of recent adversity was an acceleration in our approach and ability to combine technology and service, something I am pleased to continue to put at the forefront of what we do. On another forward-looking note, the latest preliminary research on COVID-19 in people with MS offers some reassurance. I’d like to share with you a message from Professor Bill Carroll AM, Neurologist, President of the World Federation of Neurology and MSWA Board Member: “The evolving evidence (largely Italian based 1 ) and anecdotal evidence from other sources (respected) suggest that people with MS who are currently stable on Disease Modifying Therapies are not at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 nor is any one DMT likely to increase the same risk. “Severe COVID-19 and death relate more to the known risk factors of comorbidity and age. While this statement is based on relatively low numbers, it is encouraging and reassuring.” MSWA will continue to monitor any new research coming to light and keep you informed. If you do have any concerns about your health or your treatment regime, speak to your neurologist and/or GP for tailored advice. This quarter also marks the end of the financial year and, as ever, I will provide you with a comprehensive update on MSWA’s performance in the next edition of Bulletin, after our Annual General Meeting. However, I will say that, all things considered, we have left 2019/2020 in a position of continued strength. As you know, as we continue to serve people with neurological conditions; we’re here, we’re strong and we’re looking to the future. 1 Lancet Neural 2020, Published Online April 29, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/ S1474-4422(20)30147-2 4

STRATEGIC SUPPORTS AND RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS SUE SHAPLAND RN, BN, MSCN GENERAL MANAGER STRATEGIC SUPPORTS AND RESIDENTIAL OPTIONS “Good luck is when opportunity meets preparation, while bad luck is when lack of preparation meets reality. ” Mario Andretti. Well we have all been through many changes and new territory since our last Bulletin! COVID-19 has been a real challenge on many fronts but overall, we have been lucky here in Australia, and in WA. One of the benefits of being an island and a long way from many places I guess! Whilst we had our ‘wings clipped’ and routines disrupted to an extent most of us have never experienced, we have not had the large case numbers and levels of illness and deaths seen overseas including of course, the UK and the USA. Together, under good leadership and cooperation, with most people following Government advice, we are now starting to return to what is being termed ‘our new normal’, including the football season which has been sadly missed by most! MSWA regrettably had to cancel several of our popular events including Step Up and our annual MS Awareness Week Forum, but they will be back! The restrictions imposed led to new creativity, born out of necessity, as we turned to video conferencing and linking in by many different avenues – Zoom, Webex, Skype, etc, with MSWA staff and many GPs embracing these changes. One of the better outcomes has been some increases in these connections, as people were physically isolated from their friends and loved ones, and absence has made the heart grow fonder as we now reconnect wherever we can. There has been a large spike in home cooking and crafts, and parents have found a new respect for teachers! Hopefully some lasting good changes will remain with us beyond COVID-19. We had to close our popular respite homes for several weeks, but they are now back in operation and the staff are keen to reconnect with known customers and welcome new ones. Our accommodation facilities have had restrictions imposed, including reduced visitors, reduced community outings and the flu vaccination requirement for staff and visitors as resident and staff health and safety is paramount. We have had to delay the start of construction of our Albany facility but look forward to that commencing in 2021. The research community has been impacted, with some labs being closed and access to participants reduced, but this is now starting to ramp up again. Once again MSWA is looking forward to supporting research into MS and other neurological conditions, aiming to better the record donation of .5 million for this year. I hope you enjoy this edition of Bulletin and that you and yours stay safe and well. 5