When Monti Wetsch first visited Dr. Kris French at St. Vincent Healthcare’s Multiple Sclerosis Center, she was having challenges with her symptoms and treatment. The team at the MS Center developed a custom treatment plan for Wetsch, including a newly available treatment option (Ocrevus). She was among the first patients to receive the treatment in Montana.
At the Multiple Sclerosis Center, the only certified MS Center in Montana, physicians and patients have access to the newest and most advanced MS medications available through infusions. Currently serving approximately 500 patients, the center provides more than 1,000 infusions annually to its patients.
To continue to provide cutting-edge services and treatments, in 2020, St. Vincent launched a campaign to raise funds to complete the construction of a new state-of-the-art Multiple Sclerosis Infusion Center. The MS Infusion Center was supported by the St. Vincent Foundation, philanthropic support and longtime supporters and community leaders, Jim and Lin Roscoe, who contributed to the campaign in a major way.
The opening of the St. Vincent MS Infusion Center is the latest project completed in a multi-year campaign to grow and improve access to neuroscience care at St. Vincent. Additional enhancements completed within the campaign include a remodel of the Neuroscience Center to increase patient exam rooms by six rooms and improve technology, and the purchase of a Globus Robot for spine surgery to perfect accuracy and optimize patient care in the operating room.
Having access to new treatments and the latest technology in the local community allows individuals diagnosed with MS, like Wetsch, to find treatments to maintain their quality of life.
“Many people think that anyone who is diagnosed with MS is debilitated or is going to end up in a wheelchair,“ said Wetsch. “I am active, working 40 hours a week, and have lots of hobbies, including my passion for photography.”
She shared that it is important to have a supportive team willing to work with patients on their goals. At the MS Center, physicians work with patients through a team-based approach to make sure that each patient’s treatment plan is created and followed with consistency and compassion. The team includes providers, nurses, therapists, social workers and counselors, clinical psychologists, and pharmacists.
“Multiple sclerosis is a challenging condition and each patient responds differently to treatment, “ said Dr. French. “With the right information and treatment plan, you can manage the symptoms and lead a productive and fulfilling life.”
“Before working with this team, I didn’t have options for my treatments,” said Wetsch. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”