Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s ALS Center Achieves Center of Excellence Status   

Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s ALS Center Achieves Center of Excellence Status

Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s ALS Center recently became the second New Jersey hospital to achieve status as an ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence from the association’s National Office and the Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is a progressive, debilitating disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy.  ALS often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.  There is no cure.

“Patients diagnosed with ALS have a unique set of clinical needs and require comprehensive care from a variety of specialists,” said ALS Center Medical Director Mary Sedarous, M.D. “But in many ways it is a shared illness with patients’ loved ones.  Our team is dedicated to providing this necessary and compassionate support for patients and their families.”

Requirements of the Center of Excellence Program include the following major components:

  • a strong relationship with the local ALS Association Chapter;
  • a multidisciplinary team of nursing and allied health professionals assigned to this patient population;
  • a neurologist with the specific knowledge base to evaluate and treat people living with this disease;
  • active involvement in ALS-related research and;
  • ongoing process improvement initiatives.

“We are fortunate to have had ALS specialist Dr. Sedarous lead our center since its opening in 2016,” said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center. “Under her expert leadership we have developed an excellent, comprehensive program, centered on high-quality, convenient care and services.”

The nationally-recognized ALS Center, part of the Neuroscience Institute at the academic medical center, brings together an array of specialists in one all-inclusive visit, providing patients and families with a complete, convenient health care experience.  The center’s collaboration with the ALS Association allows the exchange of research and best care practices with the nation’s leading ALS experts and clinics.

“I’m delighted that Jersey Shore’s ALS Center has met the criteria to become a Center for Excellence,” said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. “I’m grateful for the support of the ALS Association’s Greater Philadelphia Chapter, so our center can continue to provide the very best care and experience for our patients in Monmouth and Ocean counties.”

In addition to care for ALS, Jersey Shore’s Neuroscience Institute provides patients with a comprehensive line up of services for spine injuries, concussion, movement disorders, MS, brain tumors, memory, and more, as well as the region’s only Stroke Rescue Center.

“I’m proud of the work of Dr. Sedarous and the ALS team; the center is only the second in New Jersey to achieve Center of Excellence status,” said Alan Colicchio, M.D., chair of neurology, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and medical director, Neuroscience Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health, Southern Market. “This is good news for New Jersey’s ALS community as we are providing expanded access to this exemplary level of care.”

Jersey Shore University Medical Center was recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Stroke Care and with Neurosciences Excellence Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022 as well as the 2022 Cranial Neurosurgery Excellence Award.  Patients benefit from The Joan Dancy and PALS Foundation’s support of the ALS center, which provides valuable feedback, education and in-servicing to enhance the care experience.

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