Since 1998, The ALS Association’s nation-wide network of Certified Treatment Centers of ExcellenceSM has provided evidence-based, multi-disciplinary ALS care and services in a supportive atmosphere with an emphasis on hope and quality of life. The ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence Program designs, implements, and monitors a national standard of best-practice care in the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Certifications are based on established requirements of the program, professionals’ skill sets, people living with ALS served, active involvement in ALS-related research, relationships with local Chapters, and access to care.
To become certified as a center of excellence, each clinic must:
The ALS Association Recognized Treatment Centers have the same high quality approach to multidisciplinary care as The ALS Association Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence; however, they may not offer onsite research or opportunities to participate in clinical trials. This designation assures patients of the very best standard of care, while also communicating the fact that research or clinical trial involvement may not be part of the institution’s offerings.
It is important to note that other models of care are necessary to meet the needs of all people living with ALS in the United States. These include, but are not limited to, neurology group practices and solo practitioners across the country that provide knowledgeable and compassionate care. Many of these providers work closely with The ALS Association local Chapters and help to reach people living with ALS, regardless of where they live. The ALS Association Chapters may provide educational and other support to these practitioners and their patients in their local community. However, the following models of care are not an official part of The ALS Association Certified Center Program.
There are ALS clinics located across the country that provide treatment and care based on a multidisciplinary model. These clinics may be affiliated with and/or supported by a private foundation, a university medical system, the Veterans Administration or another non-profit organization. Some clinics may offer opportunities for people living with ALS to participate in research.
The Veterans Administration officially recognizes ALS as a presumptive service-connected disease, increasing access to care, services and support for those veterans living with ALS. The VA has a network of facilities throughout the nation and some locations provide specialized services for those with neuromuscular diseases and ALS.
Large Group and Solo Practices
Neurologists diagnose and care for people with neurological illnesses, and some complete additional training and focus their practice on caring for people with neuromuscular diseases. Psychiatrists or primary care physicians may also work closely with people living with ALS. Not everyone lives near a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence or a Recognized Treatment Center. However, they may receive high-quality care from a private practice physician or group practice. One goal of The ALS Association chapters is to work closely with these providers in their local communities to ensure that people living with ALS receive the healthcare and support services they need and deserve.