NHRMC Launches ALS Clinic to Better Serve Patients

February 27, 2020
ALS Clinic ribbon cutting

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is now offering a multi-disciplinary clinic for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. The clinic allows patients with ALS to conveniently see multiple members of their care team in a single trip instead of multiple separate appointments. 

The clinic is under the medical direction of Karrie Grear, MD, PhD, and Alyson Hommel, MD, board-certified neurologists with NHRMC Physician Group – Neurology, who specialize in the treatment of ALS and other neuromuscular disorders.

“Traveling for an ALS patient can be challenging and tiring, and we want to make it as easy as possible for our patients and their loved ones to get the treatment and support they need,” said Dr. Hommel. 

The care team includes a respiratory therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, registered dietitian and a licensed clinical social worker. Representatives from the ALS Association North Carolina Chapter and mobility/durable medical equipment companies will also be present to offer resources. A designated patient facilitator will be available between monthly clinic days to facilitate medication refills and answer questions.  

“This clinic also presents a valuable opportunity for the entire team to be in one place and use an interdisciplinary approach to coordinate care for the patient,” said Dr. Grear.

Both physicians previously participated in an ALS clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. In addition to Wake Forest, similar clinics or centers are located in Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham and Greenville. In Wilmington, patients will be referred to the clinic through NHRMC Physician Group – Neurology

ALS causes progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Experts do not know what causes ALS. There is no cure for the disease; treatments often focus on managing the symptoms.

For more information, visit www.nhrmc.org/als-clinic.