Jenelle Montgomery: Solutions for MS awareness
Building MS awareness for people of color through clinical practice.
Jenelle Montgomery, a clinical pharmacist at Duke University Health, works with people at some of their most critical intersection points with healthcare.
She works in the neurology clinic, helping people with MS and their medical teams devise effective treatment plans and then follow through to build MS awareness.
“I walk people through the process of starting a medication,” she says. She answers questions about efficacy, expectations, potential side effects and cost. Then she follows up with people receiving care and with providers to answer questions about side effects.
Because she sees people so soon after their diagnoses and gets so many questions, Montgomery can spot some of the areas where the system could better address disparities that tend to put Black people and other people of color with MS at a disadvantage.
As a result of her experience, she has suggestions for solutions:
- Increase awareness about MS, MS symptoms and disease progression in people of color with MS.
- Make sure educational materials are available in languages other than English.
- Improve efforts to understand cultural perceptions so that instructions are easily understood.
- Encourage self-advocacy and stress the importance of networking and building communities with other people with MS.
- Establish a minimum percentage of minority enrollment in clinical trials.
Back to “Race and MS: Confronting inequities.”