Jessica Lavoie, MPA
Community Engagement Specialist, Credit Union 1
My dad, Jeffrey Henning, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1993, when I was just 5 years old. It has always been a part of our lives and never did it prevent us from doing anything as normal family until 2004. I was in high school when my dad’s MS started to worsen, forcing him to make the hard decision to apply for disability. By my senior year, we were homeless. Luckily for us, organizations like ours stepped in and took care of my family while I finished my bachelor’s degree.
I was later reminded of the caring power and impact this community has at the National MS Society’s Bike MS: Hope to a Cure in 2015. It would be the last event I helped organize as I was leaving the society and my mom had just passed away two weeks before. Bike MS was my mom’s favorite event and I knew she wanted me to be there. As riders came back in from their long rides and volunteers checked in, they would come over to me and simply say, “we noticed your mom and dad’s truck wasn’t on the route. We heard what happened and we’re so sorry. We miss her.” I was supposed to be there to take care of THEM but they, instead, were taking care of ME. I knew then that I would always be connected to this amazing MS community and that I will do all that I can to ensure that this community is taken care of.
Dr. Dana Strager
Physical Therapist, Alaska Neurology Center
I became a Physical Therapist to inspire people and help them to achieve what they thought was impossible. I love working with MS patients because I can see so many improvements with their functional activities of daily living. This led me to get involved with AMSC so that I could work with other volunteers to create and support the MS community in Alaska. I look forward to helping the Board develop programs, fund-raise and organize events so the MS Center becomes well recognized in the community.
Dr. Peter Osterbauer, Clinical Advisor
Board Certified Clinical Neurologist, Denali Center for Neurology
I remember doing fundraisers for multiple sclerosis as a kid in elementary school. At that point, I had no idea what MS was; I was simply trying to earn a prize. Having now worked with hundreds of MS patients throughout my career, I genuinely appreciate the impact of this disease. It affects not only the individual patients, but their families, friends, and communities as well. Although we are not able to offer any cures at this time, it is my passion to ensure that the effects of this disease are minimized and quality of life is improved. The Alaska Multiple Sclerosis Center plays a major role in that endeavor.
Engineer Team Lead, BP
Manager, Respiratory Therapy, Alaska Native Medical Center
Dr. Robin Ober
Internal Medicine, Apex
Erin McLarnon, Business Consultant
PROGRAMS & EDUCATION DIRECTOR
Antonia Fiflis-Fowler, Physical Therapist, CMSC MS Specialist
I have lived with the symptoms of MS since 1975, and, as a physical therapist have treated patients with neurological diseases since 1983. I enjoy being able to apply my knowledge and skills to help others achieve their best, especially when faced with the challenges brought on by living with a disease that changes your life in so many ways. I’ve been involved with the AMSC since its inception in 2004 and want to do everything I can to make sure it stays in existence. The AMSC allows me to help more and more people realize that ‘life with MS is a life well worth living’.
DIGITAL MEDIA/MARKETING COORDINATOR
David George, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, KTUU
I bring a unique viewpoint and set of experiences to this organization as it faces the task of maintaining historical significance, current relevance and organizational evolution. I listen to the concerns, needs and desires while helping the Board, staff, volunteers and constituents reach a delicate balance. Also, I try to encourage a growth oriented mindset with a focus on developing unique offerings and services for Alaskans with MS. Lastly, I pursue all marketing avenues to help further the causes of awareness, adaptability, inclusion and acceptance.