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ALS Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center One of 17 Certified Centers

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The ALS Center at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has been certified by the ALS National Association, making it one of 17 prestigious centers throughout the country recognized for excellence is caring for patients with amotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig''s disease. "The ALS Association is delighted to add Wake Forest''s ALS Center to its approved list of ALSA centers," said Mary Lyon, R.N., M.N., ALSA Vice President for Patient Services. "By meeting the rigorous certification standards, the center has demonstrated a commitment to treating the needs of those affected by ALS with the highest degree of care."

To achieve certification, the ALS Center had to demonstrate national prominence, meet rigorous clinical care standards and pass a comprehensive site inspection. Centers certified by the ALS Association are recognized as the best in the field with regard to knowledge about and experience in ALS.

"It is an honor for our center to be included among this elite group of 17," said Peter Donofrio, M.D., center director. "This accomplishment is a direct result of our center''s commitment to provide top-quality care to our ALS patients and their families."

The center treats more than 100 patients with ALS from across North Carolina and as far away as Florida and Michigan. During a single visit to the ALS Center, patients are seen by neurologists who specialize in ALS as well as professionals in assistive technology; clinical nutrition; clinical psychology; nursing; pastoral care; physical, occupational, speech, recreational and respiratory therapy; and social work.

ALS is a fatal, neurodegenerative disease that occurs when motor nerve cells cease functioning and die. While, in most cases, a person''s mind remains sharp and alert, muscle control becomes completely lost.

For more information about ALS and the work of The ALS Association, or a complete list of certified ALSA Centers, visit www.alsa.org.

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Media Contact: Karen Richardson, (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu

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