JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The ALS Association has welcomed UF Jacksonville Multidisciplinary ALS Center to the nonprofit organization’s Certified Treatment Center of Excellence Program, establishing the center as meeting the highest levels of established national standards of care in the management of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is currently no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease.
“The care that people receive here is a model for other parts of the country and I’m proud that we are able to recognize UF Jacksonville for its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to treating people with this devastating disease,” said Gabby Harrison, the Florida chapter's director of programs and operations.
The ALS Association’s national network of certified treatment centers of excellence has provided evidence-based, multidisciplinary ALS care and services in a supportive atmosphere with an emphasis on hope and quality of life. Each ALS clinic must meet association’s clinical care and treatment standards, which are based on the American Academy of Neurology Practice Parameters, participate in ALS-related research and successfully complete a comprehensive site review to be certified as a Center of Excellence.
Research has shown that multidisciplinary care, or, the practice of having physicians and other healthcare professionals collaborate to provide the most comprehensive treatment plan for patients, helps people with ALS have better quality of life, and actually prolongs life in most cases. The Florida Chapter has a long history supporting multidisciplinary care, providing staff liaison and financial support to ensure people living with ALS receive the specialized care necessary to meet their unique needs.
"The UF Health Jacksonville Multidisciplinary ALS Center is proud to be recognized as a Certified Center of Excellence by the ALS Association," said Medical Director Michael Pulley. "This accomplishment is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by an outstanding team of care providers. Patients of the UF Health Multidisciplinary ALS Center will benefit from this recognition as we strive to improve and take our Center to an even higher level."
For more information about ALS multidisciplinary care in Florida, visit www.ALSAFL.org.