We are proud to have opened the ALS multidisciplinary clinic at Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center in 2015 to provide you with comprehensive, specialized, sensitive care for our veterans with ALS. The Center is located at 3900 Woodland Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19104.
In 2006 the Institute of Medicine issued a report indicating “Limited and suggestive evidence of association between military service and later development of ALS” based upon several studies which demonstrated increased incidence of the disease in veterans compared to the civilian population. (It should be noted that because ALS is a rare disease the overall risk is still quite low.) In 2009 the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a final ruling making ALS a presumptive service connected disease. Service connection has important implications for veterans with ALS and their families ranging from direct monthly monetary compensation to full coverage and priority for many VA services.
In the past many people with ALS in our area went to VA for their equipment needs but received their clinical care outside VA. At Penn, we felt that CMJC VA should be able to provide comprehensive care including all clinical and equipment needs and this is why we have developed our own comprehensive multidisciplinary clinic.
In a short time our clinic has grown significantly. Currently our staff includes physicians, a palliative care nurse practitioner, a spinal cord injury nurse, a nurse coordinator, a respiratory therapist, and a representative from the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Because the VA is a “closed” system we have access to a complete roster of services on our premises including physical/occupational/speech therapy, nutrition, prosthetics (bracing), and wheelchair fitting. When necessary, noninvasive ventilation (BiPAP) is arranged by our Home Oxygen department through a single private vendor. For people who cannot come to clinic we are able to arrange secure telemedicine visits. The excellent VA Home-Based Primary Care program also allows for comprehensive care for home-bound patients in coordination with our clinic.
For people with private insurance, VA services may be used as much or as little as desired and attendance at our clinic does not preclude attendance elsewhere.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ALS and believe you might be eligible to receive services at CMJC VA, we welcome you to contact us. Please call Hannah Flancer, 215-823-5800, Ext 5102. Additionally we recommend contacting the Paralyzed Veterans of America, an advocacy group for veterans with ALS (Violet A. Graham, 215-381-3057).
Thank you for your service.
Make an appointment at the Penn Comprehensive ALS Center
To make an expedited appointment with a Penn ALS neurologist, call 215-829-3053