MS Center in North Haven is a ‘one-stop shop’ for patients

Spacious offices are convenient, designed for efficient care

Cutting the ribbon at the new Multiple Sclerosis Center are (l-r): David Hafler, MD; artist Elizabeth Jameson, who contributed her work to the center’s waiting room; Daniel Pelletier, MD; and Lisa Gerrol, president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

May 15 was a landmark day for David Hafler, MD, and Daniel Pelletier, MD.

On that day they cut a ribbon to mark the opening of the new Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center at the Yale-New Haven Hospital North Haven Medical Center, where doctors are already seeing patients with MS, arthritis and rheumatology and digestive diseases. The center provides state-of-the-art treatments, and engages in basic research and clinical trials to advance both the understanding of the diseases and improve treatment options.

The doctors celebrated at a reception with an audience that included fellow physicians and staff, as well as donors, patients and their families.

MS patients often find themselves visiting different specialists in multiple locations. But the new center is a “one-stop shop” that allows for multidisciplinary collaboration among various specialists, according to Dr. Pelletier, chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Center and Neuro-Immunology Division. Patient visits start in a spacious waiting room. Inside there are seven exam rooms, a procedure room, an infusion room and offices for clinicians and researchers. There are also laboratory and blood draw services on site, as well as diagnostic radiology, including a 3T MRI machine. Parking is free, which is especially important for patients with canes and wheelchairs.

“It’s a new time. It’s almost a new beginning. This is the infrastructure we’ve been waiting for to build a comprehensive MS team,” Dr. Pelletier said.

Dr. Hafler, chair of the Department of Neurology, recalled his college days in the 1970s, when physicians knew very little about MS. Now they know the fundamental basis of MS—that it is an autoimmune disease that is related to other autoimmune diseases, he said. “The treatment that works in one disease can work in another.” With the help of genetics, the next step will be to ascertain which patient should get which treatments. “We’re finally beginning to learn about how to treat this disease,” he said.

Photo gallery: MS Center