Waddell Center Adds Clinicians to Strengthen MS Care in Region

CINCINNATI—The Waddell Center for Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Cincinnati (UC) Neuroscience Institute has recently added four clinicians to strengthen MS care for residents of the Tristate and beyond.

Aram Zabeti, MD, medical director of the Waddell Center and an assistant professor in the UC College of Medicine’s Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine, announced the additions to his team, which also includes nurse practitioners, clinical research coordinators, medical assistants and a social worker.

“I feel there is a lot of demand here, a large number of patients needing an MS specialist,” says Zabeti, who came to UC in 2013 from the Oregon Health and Science University’s Multiple Sclerosis Center. “We at the Waddell Center are pleased to be able to expand our clinical services to meet this demand.”

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Most MS patients experience muscle weakness in their extremities and difficulty with coordination and balance. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, more than 2.3 million people are affected by MS worldwide. There is as yet no cure.

The Waddell Center is one of 14 centers or programs within the UC Neuroscience Institute, a partnership of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. Waddell Center physicians see patients at the UC Health Physicians Office–Clifton and the Hoxworth Building, both near University of Cincinnati Medical Center; the UC Health Physicians Office North on UC Health’s West Chester campus; and in Dayton, Ohio.

The new clinicians, all of whom have started since April 2015, are:

  • Allen DeSena, MD, MPH, who has begun seeing adult patients at the UC Health Physicians Office–Clifton in addition to pediatric patients at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
  • Lawrence Goldstick, MD, who sees patients at the UC Neurology clinic offices in Dayton and has 36 years of experience treating multiple sclerosis.
  • Michelle Bowman, MD, who joined the Waddell Center team in September after completing her residency at UC and a fellowship at Ohio State University and primarily sees patients in West Chester.
  • Elizabeth Dragan, MD, who joined the team this month from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston. She sees patients at the UC Health Physicians Office–Clifton, the Hoxworth Building and West Chester.

DeSena, Bowman and Dragan are assistant professors in the Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine; Goldstick is an associate professor.

In addition, Zabeti says, clinical nurse practitioner Sandy Parawira, MSN, sees patients in Clifton and West Chester. Clinical nurse practitioners are able to diagnose illnesses, order treatments and prescribe most MS medications under physician supervision.

“These new members of our team, along with our clinical research staff, medical assistants and social worker, are prepared to offer the highest level of care to patients with multiple sclerosis in the Tristate and beyond,” says Zabeti.

The Waddell Center is active in clinical research, and Zabeti is currently overseeing the Cincinnati portion of a 28-site phase-2 clinical trial for ibudilast, an anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory drug that is being tested in study participants with primary or secondary progressive MS. The study is ongoing but not recruiting participants.

The Waddell Center has significantly expanded its clinical research and is now overseeing 21 clinical trials. For more information about clinical trials, visit the Waddell Center’s website.

“At the Waddell Center, we are dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with MS and their families,” says Zabeti. “With our new additions and clinical research activity, we are in better position than ever to do that.”

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