The MS Brain Health initiative has launched an annual series of awards to illustrate the global impact of lifelong brain health and showcase the ongoing progress in this area. The awards showcase the work of healthcare professionals, multiple sclerosis (MS) societies and individuals in addressing the importance of brain health in MS.
MS Australia is delighted to announce it has been successful in winning the patient organization category, with our submission titled, “At MS Australia, Brain Health is integrated into all of our work”.
We believe that since the launch of the Brain Health: Time Matters in MS report in 2015, Brain Health has become part of our DNA.
We haven’t had just one single Brain Health project but a multitude of projects and activities to progress the Brain Health initiative over the past five years.
Here are just a few examples:
- a suite of health and wellbeing resources on our website and social media channels with a particular focus on how to keep your brain healthy
- allocation of brain health-focused research grants to address smoking behaviours, promote exercise, and explore dietary factors that reduce progression and MRIs for predictions.
- engagement with the Australian pharmaceutical benefits process so that people with MS have access to subsidised DMTs and increased choice. There are now at least 15 subsidised DMTs available to people with MS in Australia.
- news items and treatment sheets that assist people with MS with decision making.
At the request of the former Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, we created a series of Roadmaps – including a Roadmap to Defeat MS in Australia.
Together with budget submissions and policy platforms, these Roadmaps are used to negotiate with relevant Minsters, politicians, departmental officials and key decision-makers along to seek government funding and support for Brain Health-related initiatives.
This year Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund has, for the first time, made significant MS-specific allocations for research.
We have promoted the Brain Health GP Guide to enable an integrated and comprehensive approach to MS management in various GP publications.
Recently, the Royal Australian College of GPs published a special MS-focussed edition of their journal with a number of articles from Australian MS researchers and many references to the MS Brain Health initiative.
We collaborate with other web-based directories like The Better Health Channel to ensure MS-specific information is shared widely across the Australian community.
And we provide an online list of all MS clinics across Australia to improve access to MS specialist care
We’ve recently launched our new MS Nurse Care in Australia Report. Actioning the report recommendations to raise awareness of and increase access to MS Nurses will, in turn, advance many of the recommendations of the Brain Health initiative.
A simple test of the effectiveness of our Brain Health work is feedback from the MS community. Responses from people with MS are always positive and encouraging.
Winning this award will spur us on to increase the breadth and depth of our MS Brain Health work and to share our successes with other MS Brain Health champions. MS Australia congratulates all individuals, teams and organisations who submitted a nomination to the first Brain Health Awards.
Our shared vision, is for a world without MS. We are determined that the Brain Health: Time Matters in MS recommendations will be used widely among those committed to creating a better future for people with MS their families, carers and friends.
Here, Rohan Greenland, CEO of MS Australia, explains how Brain Health is integrated into all of our work.
To read more about the MS Brain Health initiative, please visit: https://www.msbrainhealth.org/recommendations/brain-health-report/