The ALS Association Cites Lehigh Valley Health Network as an ALS Recognized Treatment Center
Hospital consistently provides a high level of care for people living with ALS
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (Dec. 11, 2013)--The ALS Association, along with its Greater Philadelphia Chapter, welcomed Lehigh Valley Health Network to the nonprofit organization’s Certified Center Program, establishing the hospital’s Neuromuscular and ALS Center for Comprehensive Care as meeting established national standards of care in the management of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. In an event held today at Lehigh Valley Hosptial—Cedar Crest, inAllentown, Pa., The Association presented the hospital with a plaque recognizing it as a Recognized Treatment Center.
ALS 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 ALS Association’s Certified Center Program staff designs, implements and monitors programs based upon national standards of best-practice care in the management of the disease. The ALS Association offers a designation, Recognized Treatment Center, for those organizations that meet the eligibility criteria, which includes diversity of professional expertise, access to coordinated care, and number of people served by the center. This designation assures people living with ALS and their families that these centers offer evidence-based care and services.
“The care that people receive at Lehigh Valley Health Network is a model for other parts of the country and we are proud to recognize the hospital for its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to treating people with this devastating disease,” said Jim Pinciotti, Executive Director of The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
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 ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter has a long history supporting multidisciplinary care at the hospital, sending a nurse and social worker to help link ALS patients with vital chapter services, which include access to loan equipment like wheelchairs, in-home nursing care (up to 10 hours per week) and support with assistive technology to help with communications when speech fails.
“We are delighted to have met the criteria for becoming a Recognized Treatment Center,” said Glenn A. Mackin, M.D., Medical Director of the hospital’s Neuromuscular and ALS Center for Comprehensive Care. “We are thankful for the steadfast support of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter, which helps us provide the very best personalized care for ALS patients in our region. It is my privilege to work with a multidisciplinary team so passionate about helping each patient to live life to the fullest, his or her way. We are continually inspired to do our very best for our patients and families, by their boundless courage, strength and love.”
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people living with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified and recognized treatment centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.