Fitness program at YWCA is helping those with MS

Fitness  program at YWCA is helping those with MS
February 19
00:00 2015
(CUTLINE: WSSU Photo by Garrett Garms– A WSSU physical therapy student works with MSfit participant Patsy Murrill.)

MSfit, a free fitness and wellness program offered to people living with MS, has officially started at the Gateway YWCA, 1300 S. Main St.

Since MSfit was announced in October, there has been an overwhelming response from potential participants.

Etta Branson, diagnosed in 2013, said, “When I saw the article in the paper about MSfit I was so excited. I thought to myself this is the perfect program to stay in shape and meet other people with MS that are experiencing similar symptoms as me.  This is a much needed program in the MS community, I can’t wait to start!”

MSfit’s partnership with the YWCA allows participants to take advantage of a wide range of classes and amenities seven days a week.

“The goal of this program is to enhance the quality of life for MS participants and their families.  We will document results from our program and share them with physicians to better understand the role fitness and wellness plays in managing MS symptoms” said Brian Murrill, founder and executive director of MSfit.

Prior to beginning the program, participants are required to complete an initial fitness screening that will gauge their level of ability. The screenings will be conducted by the Winston-Salem State University Department of Physical Therapy.

Dr. Sara Migliarese, a physical therapy professor at WSSU, said, “The WSSU Department of Physical Therapy is excited about the start of MSfit … Our third-year students will be performing the fitness screenings and developing exercise programs for the clients with MS based on their abilities.  Under the supervision of DPT faculty, the students will educate each client on safe and effective exercise using the YWCA facilities, classes, and equipment. This service-learning opportunity will benefit the students, as well as the clients, and the WSSU PT Club is already involved in early fund raising activities to help support the MSfit Foundation. WSSU is committed to the success and sustainability of this community service.”

As a part of their coursework, the WSSU Department of PT will return to the Gateway YWCA once a month to reevaluate participants and document their successes.

“We are very excited about the future of this program”, said Murrill.  With the continued support of the YWCA, the WSSU Department of PT, and the National MS Society, I’m confident that MSfit will have a significant impact on the MS community.”

For more information on MSfit, contact Brian Murrill at

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