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SEATTLE – (July 10, 2014) – The Virginia Mason ALS Clinic has again been designated as a Certified Treatment Center of Excellence by the ALS Association and its Evergreen Chapter.

In a ceremony at the clinic yesterday, Rebecca Moore, executive director, ALS Evergreen Chapter, said the Virginia Mason program follows the highest national standards in helping patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“The care that people receive here is a model for other parts of the country,” she said. “And I’m proud we are able to recognize the institution for its outstanding multidisciplinary approach to treating people with this devastating disease.”

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Individuals with ALS eventually lose the ability to initiate or control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure.

“Our patients made plans for their life that didn’t include ALS,” said Sonja Zimmer, manager, Neurology. “Suddenly they need a completely different plan and that’s where our team comes in.”

The ALS Clinic, part of the Virginia Mason Neuroscience Institute, was established in 2006. It is one of only 34 programs in the U.S. certified by the ALS Association.

The ALS Association is a national nonprofit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease through research, providing assistance for people living with ALS and coordinating multidisciplinary care. More information is available on the Evergreen Chapter website.

About Virginia Mason
Virginia Mason, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs 6,000 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital; a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 460 physicians; regional medical centers throughout the Puget Sound area; and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste, lower cost, and improve quality and patient safety. Virginia Mason website: www.VirginiaMason.org

To learn more about Virginia Mason, please visit Facebook.com/VMcares or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter. To learn how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at VirginiaMasonBlog.org.

Media Contact:
Gale Robinette
Virginia Mason Media Relations
(206) 341-1509
gale.robinette@vmmc.org

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