July 25, 2019

University of Missouri Health Care has been named an ALS Certified Treatment Center of Excellence by the ALS Association, the first hospital in mid-Missouri to earn the designation.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to control muscle movement. It often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure. 

Dr. Raghav Govindarajan
Dr. Raghav Govindarajan

“Like many neurodegenerative conditions, living with ALS is not easy,” said Raghav Govindarajan, MD, director of MU Health Care’s ALS clinic and an assistant professor of clinical neurology at the MU School of Medicine. “We take a multidisciplinary approach to treat the condition, with patient-centered care as one of our guiding principles.”

Each ALS clinic recognized as a Center of Excellence must meet the ALS Association’s clinical care and treatment standards which are based on the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Practice Parameters, participate in ALS-related research, and successfully complete a comprehensive site review to be certified as a Center of Excellence. 

“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 MU Health Care for its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to treating people with this devastating disease,” said Colleen Wachter, executive director of the ALS Association’s Mid-America Chapter.

MU Health Care’s ALS clinic brings together disciplines such as physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, nutritional services, wheelchair and durable medical equipment services, social workers, palliative care services and ALS nursing care — all available in one appointment to provide the most convenient care possible. The Mid-America ALS Chapter also offers a monthly support group meeting for ALS patients and family caregivers.

Dr. Pradeep Sahota
Dr. Pradeep Sahota

“We are delighted to have met the criteria for becoming a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence,” said Pradeep Sahota, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at the MU School of Medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Program at MU Health Care. “And we are thankful for continued support from the ALS Association’s Mid-America Chapter in helping provide the very best care for patients here in central Missouri.”

MU Health Care’s ALS clinic is central Missouri’s only ALS Association-recognized treatment center. To make an appointment or learn more, visit the MU Health Care neuromuscular diseases webpage.

Story Contact: Eric Maze, mazee@health.missouri.edu, 573-884-3656.

To make an appointment or learn more