KU Medical Center offers the Multiple Sclerosis Standardized Training and Education Program with University Partners (MS STEP UP), an advanced training in multiple sclerosis care for physical therapists, as part of its entry-level education for doctor of physical therapy students.
This advanced training allows students to develop the skills needed to treat patients living with multiple sclerosis within an interdisciplinary team. Embedded into the curriculum during six semesters of study, the MS STEP UP program includes didactic, clinical, research, research, and advocacy components.
Students selected for the program are chosen through a competitive application process during the first year in the KU physical therapy doctoral degree program. The current inaugural class includes four scholars. Read the news article about the first class.
A Community Need
An estimated 400,000 people in the United States suffer from MS, including about 12,500 in Kansas, Nebraska and Western Missouri. Multiple sclerosis is one of the most common diseases of the brain and spinal cord and while there is no cure, there are treatments to alter the disease's progression.
MS STEP UP aims to improve the quality of health care and improve the lives of Kansans living with MS and their families by increasing the number of physical therapists with advanced training in MS care.
Improving the Quality of Care
KU is just the third institution in the country to implement this program. MS STEP UP was founded in 2008 by the physical therapy department at the University of North Carolina and was added by the University of South Florida in 2014.
While most physical therapists receive some training for working with clients who have neurological disorders as part of their basic education, experts say MS patients benefit greatly when cared for by physical therapists who have advanced training in MS treatment or experience working with individuals with MS.
Collaboration with National MS Society
The KU Medical Center MS STEP UP program has been generously supported by funds from the National MS Society to provide scholarships to the student participating in the program. In addition, the medical center has collaborated with the MidAmerica Chapter of the National MS Society on advocacy and volunteer opportunities for our scholars.
Clinical Assistant Professor