Amanda Donald and Richard Forston Dads' Dash

The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter provides exceptional care services, the latest resources and information, and premier programming for Persons Living with ALS, their families and caregivers. We are proud to currently serve the Chicagoland area, Northern and Central Illinois, and part of Northwest Indiana.


There is no cost to Persons Living with ALS and their families for any of the services we provide.



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Care Management Program

ALS Multidisciplinary Clinics Program

Adaptive Equipment Lending Program

Assistive Technology Program

Educational Program

Respite Care Grant Program

Care Connections

Greater Chicago Chapter Care Services Team


Care Management Program

Care management is a collaborative process of assessment, planning, facilitation, care coordination, evaluation, and advocating for options and services to meet the person with ALS’s health needs through communication and available resources. Care management can enhance continuity of care, which ensures that persons with ALS are receiving the necessary care resulting in improved health outcomes, better disease planning and reduction or avoidance of complications.

* Care Services Coordinators Each individual registered with the chapter will be assigned to one of our professional Care Services coordinator who will assist and provides guidance throughout the disease process.

* Home Visits In-home consultations by one of our ALS Care Services Coordinators on a quarterly basis (more or less frequently as needed)

* Virtual Home Visits We also offer visits via Skype®or FaceTime®. It’s a way to have face-to- face conversations via computers or other devices like SmartPhones or tablets from the convenience of your home.

* Disease Specific Education While many people may have been familiar with ALS prior to their diagnosis, some may not have heard about it at all. Our professional Care Services team will provide you with the necessary education and material.

* Individualized Care Planning The symptoms and the rate of disease progression vary from person to person. Working with a Care Services coordinator will offer you and your family guidance in reaching important decisions along with accessing services, support, and education appropriate to each stage of the disease.

* Resources and Services for:

Persons Living with ALS and Their Families

Caregivers

Military Veterans Living with ALS

Neurologists

Learn more about the Care Management Program here.

ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic

   

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ALS Association Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence & ALS Treatment Center Program

The mission of the ALS Association Treatment Center℠ Program is to define, establish and support a national standard of care in the management of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sponsored by The ALS Association.

An ALS Treatment Center/ALS Multidisciplinary model provides high-quality, state-of-the art care and clinical management along with access to the latest treatments for persons living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It brings together physicians, pharmacists, occupational and speech therapists, nutritionists, social workers, and home palliative care staff that can provide comprehensive, specialized, sensitive care that addresses all of these needs in one place at one time. Research suggests that patients who receive treatment at an ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic live longer and have a higher quality of life.

The ALS Association selects, certifies and supports distinguished local and regional institutions recognized as the best in the field with regard to knowledge of and experience with ALS.

The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter has partnered with 6 institutions in the Greater Chicago and the Rockford area to develop ALS Treatment Centers.

* University of Chicago Medical Center ALS Certified Center of Excellence 

* University of Illinois Health & Sciences Systems ALS Certified Center of Excellence 

* Rush University Medical Center ALS Treatment Center

* Edward Hines, Jr VA Hospital ALS Treatment Center

* Mercyhealth System Rockford ALS Treatment Center

* NorthShore University Health Systems ALS Treatment Center

 

Learn more about our clinics here.

ALS Clinic Photo 2014

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Adaptive Equipment Lending Program

The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter has a very extensive lending program. We recognize the importance of proper equipment and assistive devices in maintaining safety, independence and in maximizing individuals’ functionality and minimizing the financial cost associated with ALS. The Adaptive Equipment Lending Program has been established to provide access to the needed medical equipment either as a bridge while awaiting insurance approval and/or to those with no insurance coverage for the equipment being requested. The program includes items that aid with Activities of Daily Living (ADL), such as mobility aids, positioning devices, communication alternatives and other assistive devices.

The success of this program is largely due to the generosity of our supporters who donated equipment and to the funds raised through our Walk to Defeat ALS programs which allow us to purchase new items, repair/replace existing items, and insures proper maintenance to the various Durable Medical Equipment in the program. 

This program includes the following types of equipment:

* Manual Wheelchairs

* Power Wheelchairs

* Bathroom Safety Equipment

* Walkers

* Patient Lifts

* Hospital beds

* Lift Chair Recliners

* Stair Climbers

* Portable Ramps

* Other Medical Equipment

At times, because of high demands and low inventory on certain items, we may not be able to supply a particular item at the time of request. We will do our best to find alternate options when applicable to help with that and we will make sure to place you on the waiting list.

 

Equipment Loan Policy

Candidates for the program must:

* Have a diagnosis of ALS.

* Reside in the Chapter's coverage area- The Greater Chicago area and surrounding suburbs, Rockford and Central IL.

* Be registered with the ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter.

* Have applied, or be in the application process, for coverage of equipment from their insurance, or have no insurance coverage for the requested item.

* All items are provided to individuals with ALS, free of charge.

 

Equipment Loan Procedure 

To request a loan of equipment through any of the loan programs, you must contact your Care Services Coordinator or the office at 312-932-0000 for assistance.

Please be aware that some items can be loaned out simply through a phone conversation with the Chapter staff, but most items will require the involvement of a health care professional to choose the most appropriate item.

 

Symposium Bed Demo

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Assistive Technology Program

The Assistive Technology Program is designed to assist persons with ALS in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device. This program can enhance the quality of life of persons with ALS by tapping into their abilities, providing new and alternative means, high tech solutions in adaptive equipment, alternative communication devices and other technological tools that helps them stay active and continue to participate in every day activities.

These devices may include communication technology, telecommunications, computer access, electronic aids to assist with daily living, and assistance with seating and mobility issues.

* Speech Language Pathologist Services available.

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Educational Program

Educational Programs about ALS for persons living with ALS, their families, the general community and healthcare professionals

  • In-Services (Educational programs about ALS presented to home health care providers, nursing homes, emergency response providers, doctors, nurses or anyone who would life to learn more)
  • Educational & Scientific Symposium
  • Webinars

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Respite Care Grant Program

The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter is proud to announce the new Respite Care Grant Program, made possible with funding from the Walk to Defeat ALS, the Run to Defeat ALS and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge along with individual support from donors who are committed to providing respite for the caregivers who give selflessly with courage, patience and love.

To learn more about the Respite Grant Program eligibility requirements and application process, please contact a member of our Care Services Team at 312.932.0000.

Terrie

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Care Connections Program

As demands on the caregiver increase, daily life may become unmanageable, creating increased stress on the entire family. Family caregivers are vulnerable to burn-out, fatigue, and stress-related health issues. It’s not uncommon for daily tasks, such as meals, laundry, and children’s activities to be less of a priority when providing care for a loved one with ALS. Caregivers may feel “defeated” by the growing list of tasks that they are no longer able to manage. The Care Connection provides support to the entire family by organizing volunteers to take care of some tasks that are “falling through the cracks”. The ALS Association’s Care Connection is a network of caring people organized to help those living with ALS and their caregivers. The goal of this is to establish formalized volunteer care networks for the families of people with ALS to help increase caregiver well-being and reduce caregiver burden.  Click here for more information about the Care Connections Program.

 

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Greater Chicago Chapter Care Services Team

 

Joumana Baroody, RN, BSN
Director of Care Services
joumana@alsachicago.org

 

Peggy O'Connor, RN, BSN
Care Services Coordinator
peggy@alsachicago.org

 

Audrey Scafidi, LPN
Care Services Coordinator
audrey@alsachicago.org

 

Kellie Branch-Dircks, MSW, LCSW
Care Services Coordinator
kellie@alsachicago.org

Gema

Gemaleen Ramos, RN
Support Group Facilitator
gema@alsachicago.org

 

Kaveri Bhatnagar, M.A., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
kaveri@alsachicago.org