At the beginning of 2015, Researchers, Clinicians and NMO Patients gathered informally for a few hours at the University of British Columbia to have a round table discussion about whatever was on our minds. It was a really great opportunity for all parties to meet, ask questions and get answers.
During the discussion, I shared an idea I had about creating a wallet card for NMO patients. I thought it would be helpful to have something we could present to medical staff in the event that we had a relapse and had to make an emergency trip to an ER. My thinking was that if the card detailed what NMO was and what the standard of care was, it would help reduce confusion for medical staff not familiar with NMO and aid in facilitating the proper treatment protocol in a timely manner.
The response to this idea was immediate. Katrina McMullen and Julia Schubert, both of whom work with the NMO clinic and research program got right to work to make this happen. Julia did a beautiful job designing the wallet card and Dr. Rob Curruthers and Dr. Tony Traboulsee provided the medical content.
This is what the front looks like:
If you scan the QR code at the top right, it gives you access to a PDF which has more information on NMO and treatment options.
This is what’s on the back:
It includes an explanation of what NMO is, the standard treatment protocol for attacks and several contact numbers for the UBC MS/NMO clinic.
NMO patients in British Columbia can request cards from by emailing NMO Clinic and Research Program manager, Katrina McMullen, (email@example.com) or they can ask for the cards while at the UBC clinic for a doctor’s appointment or research visit. Katrina and Julia welcome any feedback or requests as they hope to continue to develop programs to meet patient’s needs in the BC.
So…there you have it! An idea whose time has come! I am so proud of the team at UBC for investing in this idea and executing it so incredibly well in such a short period of time. Our collective hope is that this will help make a difference in the lives of NMO patients. This initiative underscores the importance of team work when it comes to advocating for NMO awareness. A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone involved & congratulations on a job well done!