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The ALS Association Recognizes the Duke ALS Clinic as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence

Members of the Duke Multidisciplinary ALS Clinic team and members of the "Catfish" Chapter Care Services staff join Medical Director, Richard Bedlack, M.D., PhD and Chapter President, Jerry Dawson as Mr. Dawson presents a plaque to Dr. Bedlack signifying that the Duke ALS clinic has, once again, been deemed a Certified Center of Excellence by the National ALS Association. Mr. David Fitchett, a North Carolinian living with ALS and the "Guest of Honor" is also pictured.

Duke ALS Clinic provides the highest level of care for people living with ALS

Durham, NC October 28, 2014

The National ALS Association, along with the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter has again recognized the Duke ALS Clinic as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. The Duke ALS Clinic continues to exhibit the highest levels of established national standards of care in the management of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

In an event held on October 28, 2014 at the Duke ALS Clinic in Durham, NC, The ALS Association’s Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter presented the institution with a plaque recognizing it as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence.

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 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 the Certified Treatment Center of Excellence designation for those institutions that meet the rigorous eligibility criteria which includes: diversity of professional expertise in ALS, access to coordinated, multidisciplinary care, a strong, ongoing relationship with the local ALS Association chapter, and evidence of active participation in ALS research. This designation assures people living with ALS and families that these centers offer the highest level of evidence-based, quality care and services.

“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 the Duke ALS Clinic for its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to treating people with this devastating disease,” said Jerry Dawson, President of the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter of the ALS Association.

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 Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter has a long history of supporting multidisciplinary care, through a monetary yearly grant to NC ALS clinics as well as providing a representative from the “Catfish” Chapter as part of the multidisciplinary care team to educate people with ALS about the disease and how the Chapter can assist them as they live with this difficult disease.

“We are delighted to have met the criteria for maintaining our status as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Richard Bedlack “and are thankful for continued support from the Jim “Catfish” Hunter Chapter in helping provide the very best care for patients here in the Triangle.”