National MS Society honors Derby physician for two decades of service

Joseph Guarnaccia, M.D., clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, was recently inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Volunteer Hall of Fame at its 2015 Society Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

Guarnaccia, recognized for more than 20 years of volunteer service with the Connecticut Chapter, has focused on impacting public policy and improving access to care for Connecticut residents.

Recently, Guarnaccia worked with the chapter to pass Senate Bill 418 which broadens coverage by insurance companies for off-label prescription drugs in Connecticut. Effective January 2016, peer-reviewed medical literature will be added as an acceptable reference source for coverage determinations related to off-label prescriptions.

Multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease of the central nervous system, affects more than 6,500 Connecticut residents. The cause is unknown and there is currently no cure. Symptoms can include numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness, loss of mobility and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.