The National Multiple Sclerosis Society recently presented its Volunteer Hall of Fame: Health Professionals Award to Lilyana Amezcua, MD, MS, assistant professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and fellowship director of the USC MS Comprehensive Care Center and Research Group.

The award honors individuals who have donated a significant amount of time and expertise as a health professional and MS Society volunteer. Recipients must have significantly improved or addressed issues related to quality of care, access to care, quality of life and long-term care options for people with MS. They also demonstrate leadership, creativity and innovation as an MS Society volunteer.

“Dr. Amezcua has emerged as a sought-after thought leader as it relates to Hispanics and MS,” said Craig Wesley, senior manager, Diversity and Community Outreach, National MS Society.

Amezcua has been a member of the National MS Society’s Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council since 2011. She most recently served on the National MS Society’s Access to High Quality MS Healthcare Taskforce to develop the society’s Access to Care Principles.

“These principles are the foundation of our actions and, moving forward, the society’s advocacy, communication, programmatic and research strategies will reflect these firm beliefs,” Wesley noted.

Amezcua also serves as adviser and medical liaison for the Wellness Center at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. Since 2007, she has been a member of the MS Society’s Latino/Hispanic Advisory Council, leading and participating in initiatives such as writing for a bilingual newsletter, developing community health educator training programs and conducting a clinical and translational research project focusing on racial disparities in MS.

She also received the NMSS Clinical Fellowship award. In addition to connecting her patients with the society, volunteering and engaging the medical community, Amezcua involves her professional network in Walk MS each year.

The award presentation took place Nov. 6 during the society’s Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, TX.

Since 1997, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has recognized roughly 500 volunteers with induction to the Volunteer Hall of Fame.

— Les Dunseith