Foundations

Thank you for your interest in supporting the work of the Rocky Mountain MS Center. The programs and services of the MS Center are possible through the support of community individuals and foundations. We seek foundation funding primarily to support general operations, the King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP), and research into the cause of—and cure for—multiple sclerosis. By supporting the Rocky Mountain MS Center, you make a significant impact on the lives of people with MS and their families. Doctors and other community leaders founded the MS Center in 1978. They did so because they were dissatisfied with existing services and had a deep concern for the losses suffered by people in the prime of their lives due to multiple sclerosis. The MS Center was one of the nation’s first comprehensive centers dedicated to the study and treatment of MS—and continues to lead the way. The mission of the Rocky Mountain MS Center is to improve the lives of people with MS and their families through care, support, education and research.   Our work matters because MS is the number one disabling neurological disease among young adults, with onset primarily between the ages of 20 and 50, although children as young as 18 months have developed it. Multiple sclerosis causes nerve impulses to be slowed or halted, which results in many symptoms, including fatigue, muscle weakness, cognitive impairment, and visual impairment. At diagnosis, 15% have a rapidly progressing form of the disease, and within 11-15 years of diagnosis, 58% have a progressive course. Seventy-five percent of those diagnosed with the disease eventually lose the ability to perform activities of daily living. Some 400,000 Americans have MS and approximately 200 people are diagnosed each week. MS is the third leading cause of disability overall. The incidence rate of MS in Colorado is now 1 in 550, and the prevalence appears to rise each year.   General operating support make it possible for the Rocky Mountain MS Center is serve thousands of people through the following programming:
  • Provide patient, family, and community education to more than 2,500 people through monthly classes and seminars, and offer professional level education to over 175 MS professionals;
  • Provide specialty MS care to 300 uninsured individuals at our affiliated clinic, the Rocky Mountain MS Center at Potomac Street Clinic, which was launched in August 2008. Our clinic at Denver Health and Denver Veterans Association (VA) provided care to over 250 individuals;
  • Provide community hydrotherapy programs to more than 180 individuals annually; 
  • Provide MS-specific education to more than 36,000 people through a quarterly educational magazine, InforMS, and an electronic newsletter, eMS News;
  • Provide comprehensive medical care to more than 3,000 MS patients at the Rocky Mountain MS Center at Anschutz Medical Campus. With five fellowship-trained physicians on staff, including one bilingual in English/Spanish, we anticipate over 7,000 patient visits in 2012;
  • Offer online living well resources, which include information on traditional and alternative therapy options;
  • Offer counseling and support to 150 individuals, providing 563 units of service through individual appointments, family sessions and support groups for individuals living with MS and family caregivers; 
  • Run an MS 101 class for newly diagnosed individuals every three weeks, led by a licensed social worker;
  • Operate a tissue bank at a biorepository at Anschutz Medical Campus, each year distributing dozens of samples for research conducted around the world.  We currently have 1,300 prospective donors registered; 
  • Coordinate and facilitate over 30 MS-specific clinical trails, with 500 participants, at the Rocky Mountain MS Center at Anschutz Medical Campus—one of the largest MS clinical research programs in the U.S.;
  • Administer a disability assessment clinic to 500 people, with an average of 80% of patients obtaining SSDI benefits after going through the clinics.
Our King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP) greatly benefits from the support of foundations. Each year, the King Adult Day Enrichment Program (KADEP) improves the lives of 180 adults with physical impairments and severe disabilities due to multiple sclerosis (MS), traumatic brain injury, stroke or other neurological conditions. Ninety percent of KADEP clients are low-income. At KADEP they receive breakfast, lunch and a snack each day, and assistance with medical needs, including monitoring to prevent secondary medical problems. KADEP makes it possible for clients to remain in their communities and homes, and family caregivers receive respite and are able to maintain employment. Indeed, the program not only improves the lives of clients, but also strengthens families by alleviating stress and providing support. KADEP is the only program of its kind in the Denver metro area. Research funding supports the following research projects:
  • Immunologist Dr. Leila Jackson heads up the Translational Research Laboratory, which was officially launched in 2012. Dr. Jackson and her team are laying the foundation for a "first in-man" trial of a complex vaccine approach to MS. This means we are actively moving toward a cure.
  • Dr. Jackson and her team are also developing a new animal model, used in early-stage studies, and have begun a new novel model involving the transfer of human cells from MS patients into immune-compromised mice—all in an effort to better understand the disease process. Other projects underway include looking into the role of B cells—both in therapy and their effect on the central nervous system (CNS)—and exploring the mechanism of action (how something works) of Copaxone and BG-12, the oral therapy under investigation.