Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's
disease, is a neuro- muscular disease that attacks motor neurons. This
causes progressive paralysis which makes even the simplest movements
such as walking, communicating, and eating impossible. Once the disease
is diagnosed, specialists and health care professionals at Banner Good
Samaritan's ALS Clinic offer patients comprehensive treatment in a compassionate
In January 2005, the Banner Good Samaritan ALS Clinic was recognized
as the 20th National Center of Excellence by the ALS
Association. The objective of the ALS Center Program is to encourage
and provide state-of-the-art care and clinical management of ALS.
Although it is impossible to erase the weakness and progressive muscle
paralysis that accompany ALS, team members strive to maintain a patient's
muscle function and his or her ability to perform the daily activities
Physicians and staff at the Banner Good Samaritan ALS Clinic work to
provide a multi-disciplinary clinic that brings together physical, occupational,
speech and respiratory therapists, dietitians, social workers, nursing
staff and physicians in a single setting. This clinic focuses on ALS
patients, their needs and the needs of their caregivers which change
throughout the course of the disease. Although there is no specific treatment
for ALS because its cause is unknown, specialists in the ALS Clinic are
familiar with the disease's many manifestations.
Banner Good Samaritan’s ALS Clinic creates solutions to the many
challenges people with ALS face. The ALS Clinic capitalizes on the interaction
and cooperation among the physicians and health care professionals who
are members of the patient's caregiving team. Further, the ALS Clinic
works closely with the local ALS association to provide numerous at-home
services, including respite care.
Banner Good Samaritan has a telemedicine clinic located on the Northern
Arizona University campus in Flagstaff. Nearly 90 telemedicine clinics
throughout Arizona allow patients with various travel limitations to
be evaluated by specialty physicians at Banner Good Samaritan through
a secure real-time closed-circuit television link without having to travel
to the Phoenix area.
Physicians, therapists, dietitians, social workers and nurses at the
Banner Good Samaritan ALS Clinic work together to assist patients and
their caregivers with the everchanging demands of the disease. Staff
members also work with local ALS groups to provide at-home services.