Jefferson’s Weinberg ALS Center Designated as Only ALSA Certified Treatment Center of Excellence in Philadelphia Region
PHILADELPHIA — The ALS Association, along with The Greater Philadelphia Chapter, welcomed theJefferson Weinberg ALS Center of the Vickie & Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience to the nonprofit organization’s Certified Treatment Center of Excellence Program. The Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center is one of only three facilities in Pennsylvania, and the only healthcare system currently certified in the Philadelphia region.
“We are pleased to receive this recognition from the National ALS Association and to continue our partnership with ALSA Philadelphia Chapter to support our ALS patients and their families. Starting this Center, our goal was to create a forward-thinking and compassionate program to help the patients live a productive life with ALS now, while also connecting them in the research efforts for a better future,” said Piera Pasinelli, PhD, the Frances and Joseph Weinberg Professor of Neuroscience and Director of the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center in the Vickie and Jack Farber Institute for Neuroscience. “But what we truly aspire to provide, whether in the clinic or in the research labs, is a concierge approach with personalized attention to each and every patient and their family.”
Jefferson’s model goes beyond the typical multi-disciplinary approach to ALS by adding to the clinical team the expertise of a dedicated physiatrist, pulmonologist and palliative care physicians; a comprehensive tele-health program; and by providing a seamless integration with the research laboratories. Center staff inform and involve the patients every step of the way and provide research consultations where experts translate the latest scientific discoveries and information to patients during their clinic appointments.
As an ALS Association (ALSA) Certified Treatment Center of Excellence (CTCE), the Jefferson Weinberg ALS Center has met rigorous standards for clinical care and research. ALSA only awards the distinction of Certified Center of Treatment Excellence if an ALS center establishes and engages in ongoing best practices, offers comprehensive multi-disciplinary care, conducts critical groundbreaking ALS research, and promotes an environment that emphasizes hope and quality of life. Additionally, CTCE certification signifies that the ALS Association Great Philadelphia Chapter and the Jefferson ALS Weinberg Center maintain a collaborative relationship to ensure vital home-and community-based services are accessible to patients.
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.
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.
Achieving certification through successful completion of the program’s robust clinical and administrative reviews confirms to people living with ALS and their family members the validity and comprehensiveness of the Certified Treatment Center of Excellence’s standards of quality and implementation of best practices.