NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The first multidisciplinary ALS clinic in Wilmington opened Thursday at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.
The North Carolina Chapter of the ALS Association partnered with NHRMC to bring the clinic to the Cape Fear.
The clinic is open to adults, but is inside the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Dr. Alyson Hommel says with this new clinic, patients don’t have to drive hours away for care.
“Now it’s a one-stop shop where they can see their doctors, their therapist, their occupational therapist, their wheelchair needs, their nutrition needs,” Hommel said. “Everything is kind of met all at once. Literature has shown that patients who go to a multidisciplinary clinic for ALS, do better long-term than those who don’t have that availability.”
Hommel says the clinic will meet the fourth Thursday of every month, but they hope to expand to other days.
Chapter President and CEO Jerry Dawson says this is the state’s 7th ALS multidisciplinary clinic.
“People who attend the multidisciplinary clinic tend to live about eight months longer than people who do not,” Dawson said. “Also, ALS clinics improve quality of life, so we hope to add research here. That will allow people to participate in clinical trials.”
Dawson says they hope to open a clinic in Asheville next.