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Shepherd Center Partners with Can Do MS to Improve Health Outcomes for People with Multiple Sclerosis

Can Do MS to provide wellness programs at Shepherd Center for people and families living with MS.

Can Do Multiple Sclerosis (Can Do MS) and the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, have announced a new partnership that combines resources to strengthen health outcomes for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The alliance includes program delivery services and longitudinal patient research, creating a scalable patient-centered health model to support hospitals and MS centers across the country.

"I am thrilled to see two great organizations – Shepherd Center and Can Do – come together to offer the MS community a unique and life-changing experience," said Ben Thrower, M.D., medical director of the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at Shepherd Center.

The partnership also will include a research study focused on the physical and social benefits someone with MS can experience by participating in a Can Do MS program. The four-day CAN DO® Program addresses the need for exercise and the ability to safely and effectively maintain physical activity, while also providing participants with new sources of self-empowerment. The CAN DO Program study, conducted in collaboration with Shepherd Center, will evaluate and measure:

  • physical activity and mobility outcomes
  • self-efficacy for symptom management
  • progression of disability
  • quality of life post-program
  • communication and social health of participants living with MS and their support partners

Can Do MS also facilitates the TAKE CHARGE® Program, which incorporates MS education, experiential activities and interaction with MS experts, as well as with other participants and their support partners, in a small-group setting throughout a weekend.

“This unprecedented partnership with Shepherd Center allows Can Do MS to create a model for future collaboration with MS centers and hospitals, enabling more people with MS and their support partners to participate and benefit from our life-changing programs,” said Anne Gilbert, director of programs at Can Do MS.

The CAN DO Program will take place on May 17-20, 2017, and the TAKE CHARGE® Program will be August 4-6, 2017, at Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Can Do MS is accepting applications for the CAN DO Program beginning on January 11, 2017. The application for the TAKE CHARGE Program will open in May 2017.

For more information on applying for Can Do MS programs, please visit

About Can Do MS
A national nonprofit organization based in Avon, Colorado, Can Do MS delivers health education programs on exercise, nutrition and symptom management to inspire and motivate long-lasting change for those with MS and their families to help them thrive. For more information, visit the organization’s website at or call 800-367-3101.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.