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Birmingham VA Health Care System Achieves ALS Center of Excellence: Enhancing Veteran Care

Birmingham VA ALS Team
Back (third) row left to right: Darren Kennemer, Chief Chaplain; Sarah Alyce Williams, Dietician; Kim Redwine, Neurology Nurse Practitioner. Second row: Dr. Joseph Daley, Sleep Medicine, Dr. Carolyn Kezar, Palliative, Caroline Johnson, Speech Pathologist; Dr. Thomas Head, Neurologist. Front row: Laurel Keller, Social Work; Lindsey Rickles, Registered Nurse; Dr. Peter King, Neurology Chief

The Birmingham VA Health Care System has been recognized as an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association Center of Excellence, a prestigious distinction that only nine VA centers nationwide have achieved.

This honorable distinction was received just last month, after an extensive review process. This honor allows us to provide superior and exceptional care to our Veterans.

Our site reviewer, Bob Pascuzzi, M.D., from the Indiana University School of Medicine, neurologist-physician and co-director of the Indiana University ALS Program, wrote:

Of all the ALS Clinics I have observed this is quite clearly the most “efficient” in providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment without exhausting the patients during their clinic encounter. There was a striking lack of “down time” in-between assessments during the encounter. So, patients did not struggle to endure and become fatigued during the session. What makes this more meaningful is all that was accomplished by the team during the visit exceeds what is accomplished in most (and I’ll use my own program at Indiana as a reference). The assessments and implementation were impressive. This reflects the clinical skills of the professionals in the program along with their experience, communication, and teamwork.

We are grateful for the research conducted by our staff, the treatments that continue to be at the forefront of medicine, and the skill shown by our team of neurologists that led to this achievement.