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Norton Neuroscience Institute announces affiliation with new home for The MS Center

Norton Suburban Hospital now home to expanded services, centralized location for multiple sclerosis patient care

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 29, 2010): Norton Neuroscience Institute has announced its new affiliation with The MS Center (formerly Louisville Comprehensive Care Multiple Sclerosis Center Inc.) and the center’s relocation from 250 E. Liberty St. to Norton Medical Plaza II – Suburban. Norton Neuroscience Institute plans to expand care for multiple sclerosis patients in Greater Louisville through dedicated care providers, enhanced patient resources and centralized treatment services. Plans will significantly enhance care currently available to patients and will be located primarily on the Norton Suburban Hospital campus beginning in mid-September.

MS is the most common neurological disorder among young adults with most being diagnosed between ages 20 and 50. The progressively degenerative neurological disease affects nearly 5,000 Kentuckians and causes devastating physical, mental, emotional, social and financial effects on their lives. Approximately 15,000 individuals with MS live in the Ohio Valley region.

Dedicated patient care
Effective Aug. 1, 2010, Robert Tillett Jr., M.D., will join Norton Neurology Services. A board-certified neurologist, he specializes in MS care as well as treats patients with all types of general neurology-related diseases and disorders. Dr. Tillett is an MS-certified specialist and the only physician in Kentucky with this certification. His office will be located in Norton Medical Plaza II – Suburban. He has been treating patients in Louisville and the surrounding area for more than 31 years and is one of the co-founders of the Louisville Comprehensive Care Multiple Sclerosis Center, which opened in 2005. Dr. Tillett serves as the medical co-director of The MS Center. He will be joined in providing comprehensive care and treatment to MS patients by Jenifer Patterson, an MS-certified nurse practitioner who has five years of experience treating MS patients. Patterson is fellowship trained through the John Dystel Nursing Fellowship in MS, a scholarship offered through the National MS Society. In addition, she serves on several advisory boards and National MS Society committees. 

Thanks to Norton Neuroscience Institute, MS patients now have convenient access to these specialized providers, as well as diagnostic services, infusion therapy services and clinical interventions located in close proximity to Dr. Tillett’s office on the Norton Suburban campus.

“I am excited about Norton Neuroscience Institute’s commitment to enhance and centralize MS services in this community,” Dr. Tillett said. “MS is a devastating disease that can cause debilitating fatigue, difficulty walking, memory problems and mental confusion. These symptoms can make it difficult for patients to get to their clinical appointments. The fact that they now will have all their MS services centralized in one location will make a tremendous positive impact on their ability to access the services they sorely need. In addition, through Norton Neuroscience Institute and The MS Center, patients also will have the opportunity to participate in clinical research studies. Until now, that type of easy access to these services has not existed in this area.”

Enhanced patient resources
The MS Center, a nationally recognized MS Center of Excellence, will receive a portion of $2 million in support for MS services over five years from Norton Healthcare. This funding will allow The MS Center to expand its support services as well as its educational, therapeutic and exercise programs to individuals and families living with MS. Located just down the hall from Dr. Tillett’s office, The MS Center will continue its mission as a nonprofit organization focused exclusively on social services for individuals living with MS and their children, families and caregivers. It helps patients address all aspects of disease management through a wide range of services and programs, including:

  • Accredited seminars for the medical community
  • Individual, family and couples’ mental health support services
  • Social services provided by certified social case workers specializing in MS
  • Information on new trends in treatment
  • Access to groundbreaking clinical trials
  • Nutrition and exercise programs
  • Monthly professionally led men’s, women’s and caregiver’s support groups
  • Resource library
  • Local advocacy and activism programs
  • A variety of therapeutic workshops (e.g., Self-Discovery Through Journaling)
  • Social events (e.g., bowling parties and Women’s MS Lunch League)
  • Awareness/fundraising activities
  • Free MRIs for the uninsured and underinsured through MSAA
  • Patient assistance programs

The MS Center is not affiliated with any national MS organization. All funds raised by The MS Center remain in Greater Louisville.

“Our center is one of a handful of MS centers in the country focused on social services and education,” said Yvette Rojas, executive director, The MS Center. “This exclusivity creates a very high demand for our services, and I’m pleased to now be able to offer our clientele this new location in Norton Medical Plaza II – Suburban, near Dr. Tillett, who is one of the leading MS specialists in the region. Our affiliation with Norton Neuroscience Institute and the new location create a continuity of care that MS patients have needed for many years. I am so grateful for the support from Norton Neuroscience Institute and Norton Healthcare that made all of this possible.”

Centralized treatment options
Centralizing physician care and resources on the Norton Suburban campus will provide patients with easy access to treatment and diagnostic services, including:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Computed tomography
  • Evoked potential tests – brainstem auditory evoked potential (BAEP), visual evoked potential (VEP) and sensory evoked potential (SEP)
  • Blood collection and analysis
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Infusion services for intravenous infusions of steroids and other treatments, such as Tysabri

“We think this is an excellent development for the MS community, and I’m honored that Norton Suburban Hospital can take part in it,” said John Harryman, president, Norton Suburban. “We opened a new infusion center in Norton Medical Plaza II – Suburban last year, which will provide a comfortable environment for MS patients needing intravenous treatments. In addition, Norton Suburban is very well equipped to provide diagnostic and clinical intervention services for these patients.”

It also is important to be mindful of some of the special needs of the MS patient population, according to Harryman. “We will increase the number of parking spaces in our parking garage near The MS Center’s entrance to ensure that patients are not exposed to the extreme heat and cold of our changing seasons, which can cause an exacerbation of symptoms,” Harryman said “This is a patient population that has been underserved for far too long, and I look forward to helping meet their specialized needs for care.”
Norton Neuroscience Institute was established in early 2009 with a plan to expand services, develop world-class facilities, implement leading-edge technologies, enhance research and increase outreach efforts to position it as a national leader in neurological care, according to Christopher Shields, M.D., president, Norton Neuroscience Institute.

“As the region’s leading health care provider and as the largest provider of neurological and spinal services, Norton Healthcare and Norton Neuroscience Institute recognize our responsibility to step forward to meet the needs of these patients,” Dr. Shields said. “MS is a terrible disease with no known cure, but there are many ways to treat and manage its symptoms. I am anxious to work with Dr. Tillett and Ms. Patterson in doing that and more for this courageous patient population.

“This is an example of our continued growth to fulfill the vision of Norton Neuroscience Institute by the addition of neurologists who will work collaboratively with neurosurgeons to elevate the quality and availability of patient care and develop one of the major neuroscience institutes in the United States. More neurological specialty services will be developed over the next several months.”

**Dr. Tillett and Jenifer Patterson are currently accepting patients. To schedule an appointment, call (502) 899-6782**.

About Norton Neuroscience Institute
One in every three people – some 1.7 million in Kentucky and Southern Indiana alone – will be affected by a neurological disorder at some point in life. Established in early 2009, Norton Neuroscience Institute is the region’s leading provider of neurological care. Its team of specialists is dedicated to providing patients and their families with advanced treatment for complex neurological disorders through several areas of expertise, including pediatrics, stroke care, brain tumor treatment, spine care, movement disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, headaches and concussion treatment, trauma, injury and more. Since its launch, multiple neurosurgeons and neurologists have joined the institute, part of a 10-year plan to expand services, develop world-class facilities, implement leading-edge technologies, enhance research efforts and aggressively grow outreach efforts to position Norton Neuroscience Institute as a national leader in neurological care. 

About Norton Suburban Hospital         

Norton Suburban Hospital is a full-service, 373-bed community hospital offering inpatient and outpatient medical/surgical care and full diagnostic services. Norton Suburban specializes in comprehensive cancer prevention, detection and treatment; orthopaedics; neurosurgery; surgical weight loss services; and 24-hour emergency care. Norton Suburban also is home to a Norton Wound Healing Center and Norton Women’s Pavilion, offering general and high-risk obstetric and gynecologic care, a Level III neonatal intensive care nursery, Norton Women’s Heart Center and a dedicated surgical unit just for women with private rooms and specialized nursing care.

About Norton Healthcare

For more than a century, Norton Healthcare’s faith heritage has guided its mission to provide quality health care to all those it serves. Today, Norton Healthcare is the Louisville area’s leading hospital and health care system and third largest private employer, providing care at more than 100 locations throughout Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana. The not-for-profit system includes five Louisville hospitals; 11 Norton Immediate Care Centers; 10,900 employees; nearly 400 employed medical providers; and more than 2,300 total physicians on its medical staff. For five consecutive years, Norton Healthcare has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in Kentucky. The health care system serves patients in the Greater Louisville area, including Southern Indiana, and throughout Kentucky.

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