From left, Emil Mesinger, widower of Maxine Mesinger, and his daughter Julie Haas together with Dr. Victor Rivera unveiled Mesinger's portrait at the Sept. 9 grand opening of The Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital.
A new clinic at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital in Houston -- the Maxine Mesinger Multiple Sclerosis Clinic -- was designed to make treatment easier on MS patients with its one-stop shop design.
Multiple sclerosis can severely limit the mobility of the people who have it, said Victor Rivera, MD, professor of neurology at Baylor and medical director of the clinic. We designed the clinic to give patients unique access to care from a variety of specialists and medical staff, including gynecologists, urologists, physical therapists and social workers.
The medical staff of the clinic met with experts including advisors from the national Multiple Sclerosis Society and patients with MS to design a clinic that was both comfortable and functional. The resulting clinic is tailored to the needs of the MS patient, from its calming green color scheme and glass walls resembling flowing water to its plush chairs, which are more comfortable to MS patients sensitive to pain.
The clinic is part of the Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Center, a joint effort that focuses on clinical care, basic and clinical research and outreach for multiple sclerosis. Current research open to MS patients includes stem cell transplantation and national trials testing new MS drugs.
We are developing new tests, like gene expression profiling analysis, that may help clinicians to better evaluate patient response to the current treatments, said Jingwu Zhang, MD, PhD, director of research for the Center.
From a simple blood test, researchers are hoping to tell which of the FDA-approved treatments for MS will work best on each individual patient. Since MS is a slow-progressing disease, determining whether a drug is helping a patient can often take a long time.
Patients from outside the United States will benefit from the clinics area for international patients, where staff members facilitate travel arrangements to the clinic and coordinate care with the patients treating physician. The clinic also features multilingual physicians and personnel and maintains close ties with MS Associations in Latin America. Rivera established the Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital International Multiple Sclerosis Center in 1996. The clinic is one of two Centers of Excellence in Texas affiliated with and funded by the Lone Star Chapter of the National MS Society.
The new clinic is named in honor of the late Houston Chronicle columnist Maxine Mesinger, who had the disease and was an active fundraiser for multiple sclerosis-related causes until her death in 2001.
I know Maxine would be very pleased with the opening of this new clinic because it offers so many options in one location to people with this dreaded disease, said her widower, Emil Mesinger.