Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Programs and Services

The Way Forward - Alberta & NWT Division

    The Way Forward: Alberta’s Multiple Sclerosis Partnership


    In November 25, 2013, the Government of Alberta announced its commitment to support people affected by MS in the province by putting a plan in place to deliver better access to care and services that will enhance their quality of life. In collaboration with the MS Society of Canada and other community partners, the Alberta Government released The Way Forward: Alberta’s Multiple Sclerosis Partnership, an initiative identifying five overarching recommendations to fulfill this plan while identifying the provincial agencies and community organizations who will work together to make it happen.

    • The vision of The Way Forward indicates that people affected by MS in Alberta would have access to a coordinated, continuous and comprehensive system of care, services and support that empowers them to have the best quality of life possible.
    • The Way Forward makes five recommendations to fulfill this vision: 1) provide comprehensive, integrated services (including patient navigation); 2) co-ordinate policies for disability supports; 3) support empowerment and self-management; 4) develop education, awareness and the general capacity within our systems to support Albertans with MS; 5) advance MS research and evaluation.
    • Ultimately, The Way Forward will create a broad system of support for Albertan’s living with MS that includes not just family and friends, but also health care providers, community supports and specialized services.
    • Work is already underway to improve services to rural areas, incorporate research findings into practice, develop information resources for employers, and support research into treatments for Albertans with MS.

    About Government and Community Relations

    Government relations also referred to advocacy is any activity carried out by the MS Society staff and volunteers at any level which supports the mission by seeking to improve government legislation and policies, private industry practices and/or public attitudes.

    Government relations is distinguished from individual advocacy, which involves working with and/or on behalf of people affected by in the community to help them obtain access to needed public or private services or programs. Individual advocacy is most often carried out by MS Society client services volunteers or staff at the division or chapter level.  If you need individual advocacy contact your local chapter.

    The Way Forward: Alberta’s Multiple Sclerosis Partnership

    The MS Society is pleased to be one of the architects of this important initiative that will benefit people living with MS and their families.  People living with MS, the MS Society and other stakeholder groups provided input for The Way Forward. Five years in the making, their contributions helped shape a plan that promises dignity and quality of life for all Albertans living with MS.   We will work together to fulfill our promise and commitment to Albertans that no one has to face the challenges of living with MS alone.

    The Recommendations

    The Way Forward identifies five overarching recommendations to guide actions:

    • Provide comprehensive, integrated services;
    • Co-ordinate disability supports across sectors, ministries and different levels of government;
    • Support empowerment and self-management;
    • Develop education, awareness and the general capacity within our systems to support Albertans with MS; and
    • Advance MS research and evaluation.

    Next Steps

    Currently, through collaboration with our partners, we are working on 4 priority areas: developing employment and income supports for people with MS; developing clinical practice guidelines; building/establishing age-appropriate housing; and supporting MS research.

    National Government Relations

    Click here to read the Action on MS report prepared by the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. It includes findings from our recent Listening to People Affected by MS Initiative and our Calls to Action.

    Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world. With over 90,000 Canadians living with MS, their families, friends and communities are also affected. Action on MS describes what it really means to live with MS in Canada.

    In 2013, people living with MS, as well as their loved ones, responded to the Listening to People Affected by MS Initiative, hosted by the MS Society of Canada. Results of the initiative provide a better understanding of the impact of MS on quality of life needs, gaps and barriers.

    Based on study findings, the MS Society of Canada is taking action by: 

    • Reviewing our own processes and strategic directions
    • Continuing to offer locally based programs and services
    • Developing a nation-wide information and referral service
    • Asking federal, provincial and territorial governments to take action

    We are asking the federal, provincial and territorial governments to take action to support secure jobs and income, to provide care for the caregiver and to increase investments in health related discovery to fuel the development of new therapies for progressive MS.   You can take action on MS and join the campaign by going to

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