A new clinic for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham lets patients see eight healthcare providers during a single visit, with a single co-pay.
“They’ve got my back,” said Venus Richardson of Mobile, who was first diagnosed with ALS in 2019 and began seeing UAB physicians a few months later. “If I have questions or need any information, they are there to help. The more you interact with your care team, the better you are able to express how the disease is affecting you.”
The new clinic is supported by a grant from the Alabama Department of Commerce Innovation Fund. It allowed UAB to expand the existing clinic to see more patients more often. Most patients will come every three months, and during their visit, they will meet with their neurologist, physical and occupational therapists, a dietitian, speech therapist, psychologist, social workers, and respiratory therapists. The visit is facilitated by a nurse coordinator who has several years of experience with ALS patients.
“It helps the patient to be able to see all of their care providers at one visit,” said clinic co-director Mohamed Kazamel, MD, associate professor in the Department of Neurology, Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. “It allows the care team to work together to build a comprehensive care program for each patient paired with frequent follow-up.”
The new clinic opened in January. It sees about 150 patients currently and expects to add about 30 new patients each year.
“Beyond expanding our clinical services, the Alabama Innovation Fund grant will allow us to hire an ALS clinical trials coordinator so that we can participate in trials that shed new light on the disease,” said Nan Jiang, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology and co-director of the clinic.
For more information on the UAB ALS clinic, call 205-934-2120.