New York, NY—June 21, 2012
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), in collaboration with the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, has established an ALS Association Program at the hospital. The program provides multidisciplinary care to patients affected by ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter provided a grant for the project.
A reception to mark the opening of the ALS Association Program took place at the hospital on June 20.
“The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter is excited to begin this new collaboration with the Hospital for Special Surgery,” said Dorine Gordon, president and CEO of the Greater New York Chapter. “The ALS Association Program at HSS will provide comprehensive medical and supportive care for patients, not just during medical visits, but throughout the progression of their illness. We are proud to partner with one of nation’s premiere institutions for patient care.”
“The program is geared toward helping patients live more productively and independently,” said Dr. Dale J. Lange, chairman of neurology at Hospital for Special Surgery. “Our goal is to provide a coordinated program of medical treatment, rehabilitation techniques and psychological support in a compassionate setting. Comprehensive assessments, diagnostic and follow-up tests, education and treatment are individualized for each patient.”
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. As the disease progresses, patients lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. With voluntary muscle action affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become paralyzed. Yet for the vast majority of people, their minds remain unaffected.
The ALS Association Program at HSS is located in the Marcia Dunn and Jonathan Sobel Department of Neurology. A multidisciplinary group of health professionals provides patient care. The team consists of an attending neurologist specializing in neuromuscular disease and whose research interest is focused on ALS; a nurse practitioner whose specialty is in neurology/neuromuscular disease and ALS; a respiratory therapist; a speech and language pathologist; occupational and physical therapists; and a licensed clinical social worker. Physician sub-specialists in pulmonary medicine and gastrointestinal medicine are also available to provide patient care.
“The ALS Association Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery will not only serve as a place of great comfort and care for patients, but also as a beacon for unique research and clinical trials,” said Richard Rose, chairman of the Board, ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. “When patients enter these doors, they will be fully supported in nearly every way by both institutions and leave with the knowledge that they are being cared for by the best team of professionals in healthcare who will be with them throughout the progression of their illness.”
As part of the new program, the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter, will offer a wide range of services at no cost to patients, including transportation to and from clinic appointments, home visits, support to family and caregivers, as well as full access to the Chapter’s equipment loan program, which provides durable medical equipment and assistive technology.
According to an independent study, research shows that patients who receive coordinated, wide-ranging care at a multidisciplinary center live longer with improved quality of life.