The ALS Association and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have entered into a partnership to help improve the lives of Veterans living with ALS by increasing the number of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) clinics that are designated as Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and Recognized Treatment Centers.
Across the country, teams of health care professionals specially trained to address the needs of people living with ALS are doing whatever it takes to provide the specialized care and support their patients require.
The ALS Association’s Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and Recognized Treatment Centers are dedicated to doing whatever it takes to provide compassionate care in a supportive, family-oriented atmosphere to help their patients live longer and stronger lives. One such center is the Phil Smith Neuroscience Institute at Holy Cross Health located in south Florida. “No matter what, the patient always comes first,” says Tina Duane, Regional Program Manager at The ALS Association Florida Chapter.
We are on an urgent mission to make ALS a livable disease by 2030, to discover and fund promising treatments and to discover a cure. Our best opportunity to fulfill this promise and to continue delivering in the areas of Care, Advocacy, and Research is to reinvigorate our commitment to work as one. Driven by this belief, we will move from a federated to a unified structure.
Health disparities in underserved and rural communities present serious challenges for people living with ALS. Like many of our local chapters around the country, The ALS Association Central and Southern Ohio Chapter and the team at OhioHealth ALS Clinic are working together to change that. In the fall of 2019, Michelle Edwardson, Director of Care Services for the chapter, began working with the team at one of their Certified Centers of Excellence, OhioHealth ALS Clinic, to develop a one-day comprehensive educational symposium for people living with ALS, their caregivers and medical professionals.
Investigators at Emory University School of Medicine reviewed 23 years of data from 1997-2020 for patients seen at the Emory ALS Center. To allow for adequate analysis of disease survival time, researchers included all patients who self-reported their race as Black or White and symptom onset was before January 1, 2017. A total of 1,298 patients were included in the study, 203 of whom were Black, and 1,095 of whom were White.
Recent changes to Medicare will enable people with ALS to receive services from speech language pathologists via telehealth through the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. These services include clinical care for swallowing and speech-generating devices - many challenges people living with ALS are faced with every day.
Recent changes at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will enable people with ALS to receive critical services provided by speech therapists, normally provided at in-person visits, via telehealth during the pandemic. These services include clinical care for swallowing and speech-generating devices - many challenges people living with ALS are faced with every day.
People living with ALS will likely experience complications related to the disease that warrant a visit to the hospital at some point in their journey. At the same time, they are not immune from other injuries or medical issues—people with ALS can still get sick or possibly hurt themselves in ways unrelated to the disease. Making the conscious choice to be prepared can make all the difference.
As Feeding Tube Awareness Week comes to a close, we spoke with Brenda and Kelly Kraft and asked them to share their family’s story about their personal experience with making this difficult decision, and the relief they felt once they had made it.
Through word of mouth, Stuart and his wife Marcia found five or six families in their community who were also dealing with the impact of an ALS diagnosis. They started an informal support group. The group started working with the chapter relations team at The ALS Association and formed The ALS Association Alabama Chapter.
Once ALS takes away a person’s ability to swallow safely, maintaining adequate nutrition can become a challenge for people living with ALS and their caregivers. And finding delicious family friendly recipes for all to enjoy during the holidays can be difficult.
You may know the old saying “ship shape.” In many ways, that old reference to order and fitness defined Yvette Wilson’s life. She joined the United States Navy immediately after high school and the discipline that experience gave her has shaped her life in many ways. Even after she left the Navy, she lived an orderly life, blessed with good health and a loving family in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
All signs pointed to a wonderful future, until one day she started experiencing a heaviness in her feet.
I am the legacy of Oscar Aukschun, who was a wood pattern maker and first generation American and a resident of Cleveland, Ohio who developed weakness of his hands and arms in 1943 around the age of 43 years. He was a hard-working father who provided for his wife and three children.
November 1st marks the beginning of National Family Caregivers Month, a time to recognize and honor the tremendous contributions of family caregivers. Caregiving for someone with ALS has a broad and lasting impact, in both daily life and long-term well-being.
The ALS Association collaborates with some of the best ALS physicians and clinics across the United States to help ensure that people living with ALS have access to the specialized care they need, based on best practices. Disrupted by the pandemic this year and the ability to see patients in person due to quarantines and safety issues, providing care in a clinic setting took on the challenges of major change, but ALS doesn’t stop and neither do we.
Navigating the world of health care, insurance, and especially Medicare, can be very complicated and overwhelming. Making the right decisions when it comes to healthcare and understanding all of your options is critical for everyone, but even more so for people living with ALS.
We spoke with Renée Hetzler, physical therapist at the University of Rochester Medical Center’s multidisciplinary ALS and Huntington Disease Clinics, who shared her thoughts and experiences with patients and insights about the importance of physical therapy for people living with ALS.
People with ALS and their caregivers face a substantial burden accessing and understanding insurance coverage and paying for medical treatments and services, causing high stress, added work burden and debt for the ALS community.