Health Professionals (Non-Physician)

MDS Health Professionals (Non-Physician) Special Interest Group Update

16th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders

Abstract Presented by Theresa Towle, NP, FNP-BC, CNRN (Chicago, IL, USA)

June 2012


Objective: To provide an update of milestones achieved in the growth and development of the Health Professional (Non-Physician) Special Interest Group within The Movement Disorder Society.

Background: In 2009 a group of Health Professional members started web page on the MDS website as a means of education and integration with MDS physician membership, and outreach to potential HP members. Prior to that initiative, attempts at integrating educational offerings for Health Professionals were not well-endorsed due to limited numbers of HP members, sparse offerings, disinterest, lack of employer support and cost. In 2010, a Needs Analysis Survey was launched on the website and initial results were reported at the last MDS Congress. Following the Toronto meeting in 2011, plan was set in place for the further growth and development of the Health Professional (Non-Physician) membership in keeping with MDS strategic goal 2010-2013.

Methods: Four areas of expansion were identified as key components of successful integration of HP members within MDS including increased HP membership, collaboration, education and research. Membership was measured by new member growth and discipline affiliation. Education, research and collaboration were tracked by advances in each area since the initiation of the strategic plan. Additionally, an update to the HP Needs Analysis Survey was developed to document demographics, culture of learning, educational needs and obstacles to further participation in MDS activities. The survey was conducted via the MDS website.

Results: Membership: HP membership has increased by the 20% targeted goal for year 3. Collaboration: Designation as a MDS Special Interest Group with HP member Chair and Co-Chair; direct physician-member liaison with MDS President; and appointment of HP member to Congress Scientific Program Committee. Education and Research: Development of HP (non-physician) subcommittees for education, research and member outreach. Planning stages for web-based educational courses and future development of MDS HP certification program.

Conclusions: From the beginning of the web page initiative in 2009, the HP (n-p) Special Interest Group continues to expand within MDS. We are rapidly establishing a welcome presence aimed at inter-professional education, research and the common dissemination of evidence-based knowledge to enhance the care and comfort of our patients with movement disorders.