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The Nazareth College Department of Physical Therapy has been named a “Group On the Move” by the National MS Society Upstate New York Chapter. This distinction celebrates the department’s dedication to creating a world free of multiple sclerosis, a disabling disease of the central nervous system that affects more than 2,700 people in the Greater Rochester area. Members of the physical therapy department will receive their award at the chapter’s 3rd annual On the Move Luncheon on Friday, March 15, at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford. The networking luncheon, held during MS Awareness week, shines a spotlight on some of the area’s stars in the MS movement who are making a difference through their volunteerism.
The Nazareth College Physical Therapy Department started a fitness and wellness program five years ago for individuals with multiple sclerosis, under the direction of Clinical Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Mary Ellen Vore. The program encourages living healthy with a chronic disease. The 10-week, individualized exercise program allows the participant to work one-on-one with a physical therapy graduate student under the supervision of licensed physical therapists.
Each semester, this program serves 20-25 individuals with multiple sclerosis to improve their overall fitness and health. Last fall, the department held two 8-week sessions of a program called Free From Falls. This is a comprehensive fall prevention program for people with MS, designed by the National MS Society. “These programs not only benefited participants,” said Vore, “but allowed individuals to help teach future physical therapists about living with MS. These programs would not be possible without dedicated physical therapists including Teresa Bergin, Donna Latoy and Lynne Minkel.”
Multiple sclerosis, an often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The rate of diagnosis in Upstate New York is about double the national average. MS affects more than 12,800 people in the 50-county region served by the Upstate New York Chapter.
Founded in 1924, Nazareth College is located on a close-knit, suburban campus in the dynamic, metropolitan region of Rochester, N.Y. The College offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and professional programs in health and human services, education, and management. Nazareth's strong cultures of service and community prepare students to be successful professionals and engaged citizens. The College enrolls approximately 2,000 undergraduate students and 1,000 graduate students.