Image of Multiple Sclerosis Service Society Members

The mission of the Multiple Sclerosis Service Society (MSSS) is to provide assistance to those diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis through a variety of services. It is our goal  to help individuals, their families, and the community to better understand Multiple Sclerosis.

Since 1952, the MSSS has been providing services to clients with Multiple Sclerosis in the ten county area surrounding Pittsburgh. The Multiple Sclerosis Service Society also provides other services, including an in-home exercise and support program.


Services
Services

Where do you go for help?

The Multiple Sclerosis Service Society Program of CLASS is here to help you. Thousands of individuals living with MS and their families have been supported through the Society’s services since its formation in 1952. All Services are designed to make MS more manageable, and are aimed at maintaining one’s maximum independence, dignity and comfort.

Multiple Sclerosis Exercise and Support (MSES) Program

This in-home program was one of the first services offered. The program provides a variety of in-home exercises that help individuals living with MS maintain their current level of function both safely and comfortably. Instructional exercise, emotional support, equipment and assistive living device evaluations are provided under a doctor’s orders.

Therapeutic Social and Recreational Activities

The MSSS program of CLASS funds social clubs and has six social/support groups. Groups provide educational speakers and additional resources when available.

Community Education

The Society offers information and referral services to facilities and programs to individuals living with MS. The CLASS newsletter, ”The Voice”, and the website at
www.classcommunity.org provide current information regarding our activities. Staff members are available to speak to community organizations about MS.

MSSS of CLASS History
MSSS of CLASS History

The Multiple Sclerosis Service Society (MSSS) was founded by a man whose brother had MS. Together with another brother and friends, they formed the Western Pennsylvania Multiple Sclerosis Service Society (WPMSSS) in 1952.

As the group gained knowledge and understanding of MS, it expanded the Board, appointed various committees, set up a Medical Advisory Board and began purchasing medical equipment to help people living with MS. In time, the Board opened an office, established a clinic, employed therapists and began financing research projects.

In 1954, the WPMSSS joined the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 1965 the connection was severed when the WPMSSS became affiliated with the Health Research and Services Foundation of the United Way of Allegheny County. In 1982, the name was changed to the Multiple Sclerosis Service Society (MSSS) in order to reflect the activities of the organization.

In September 1993 the MSSS opened the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Center where physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, recreation therapy and social work services were offered to those with MS until August of 2005. In 1999 the MSSS developed the Durable Medical Equipment Company.

In July of 2010 the MSSS merged with CLASS and continues to provide services to 1,600 people with MS in a ten county area of southwestern PA.

About MS
About MS

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that affects young adults.

The disease causes the protective covering, (myelin) surrounding the nerves to disappear in scattered patches. It leaves scars or sclera in multiple places on the brain and spinal cord, which is how it received its name, multiple sclerosis.  The sclera interferes with the normal electrical signals that the brain sends to various parts of the body, causing “short circuits.”

Characteristically, MS progresses in recurring episodes and is normally diagnosed between the ages of 20-40. MS is not contagious. In the early stages of disease diagnosis can be difficult. The progression of MS varies from one individual to another.

What are some of the symptoms?

There are some common symptoms of MS although they vary widely in severity from person to person. These symptoms may be constant, progressive, or sporadic with certain individuals experiencing only a few in their lifetime. Symptoms of MS may include:

  • Visual Problems
  • Numbness and Prickling Sensation
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Muscular Spasms
  • Slurred Speech

If you have questions about the MSSS Program or any of our services, please contact Char Raynovich, Executive Director of Community Programs, at craynovich@classcommunity.org or by phone at 412-683-7100 x 2245 or toll-free at 1-888-954-2424, or via our online contact form.