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University of Iowa clinic a ‘dream team’ for MD patients

Cobey Brock is getting ready to go back to school. The ten-year-old Davenport boy is a fifth grader at Harrison School.

Cobey must also contend with a form of muscular dystrophy. That’s why the University of Iowa Clinical Outreach Program is so important.

“We don’t have to go bouncing around to different people; and having their team here when everybody comes in and sees him at one time is actually really nice,” said Cobey’s mom, Stefanie Brock. 

Staff from Iowa’s Neuromuscular Clinic sets up shop in Davenport twice a year. They may see up to 20 patients a day.

“This is the time they really have to think about, ‘My child has this disease,’ so it’s often difficult for them to come,” said Dr. Katherine Mathews, a well-known specialist who works to make the visits comfortable and thorough.  

The outreach clinic is a convenient way to connect with care. The team approach helps patients make the most of each session. 

The medical team includes longtime nurse Christina Trout.  She also provides genetic counseling and patient advocacy.

“It’s difficult to find specialists who understand the diagnosis as well as all the pieces that go with it, so our team works together to coordinate their activities, and helps them to get all their health care in one place,” Trout said.

Physical therapist Shelley Mockler works with patient Cheryl Housman of DeWitt.  Housman finds that one-stop approach helpful and she appreciates the clinic’s connection with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

“Bringing in the money really helps for research.  They’re really progressing on that.  There’s a lot of new medications that they’re trying to get so they can help people,” Housman said.   “It’s really good. The doctors are really nice and very understanding. Everybody that works together, they’re really great to work with.”

Nutrition counseling is part of the regimen for Cobey Brock and his mom.  The team tries to make that counseling educational, to be sure questions get answered and problems get addressed.

One step at a time, the Clinical Outreach Program is making a difference by providing special care with a local touch.  It’s  the University of Iowa’s dream team for MDA. 

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