Defense Media Network

VA Improves Quality of Care for Veterans Diagnosed with ALS

The Department of Veterans Affairs through a recent partnership is working to increase the number of clinics certified by the ALS Association as a Treatment Center of Excellence.

The alliance aims to improve care for Veterans diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — and increase awareness of resources and treatment options available.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. While there are no known cures, treatment options can reduce damage caused by the disease, relieve symptoms and improve one’s quality of life. Research shows those who served in the military are more likely to develop ALS than those who have not.

“ALS Association’s continuing education resources give VA health care providers and patients access to educational opportunities,” said VA National Center for Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships Nurse Executive Tracy L. Weistreich, Ph.D. “By promoting local participation in nationwide chapters, we ensure Veterans have greater access to ALS programs and services at VA and in their communities.”

Veterans can also enroll in the National ALS Registry which helps health experts enhance the standards of ALS care and seek a cure.

VA has 11 Treatment Centers of Excellence that exceed nationally accepted standards of care. To be certified, clinics must meet high level of treatment standards, participate in ALS-related research and successfully complete a comprehensive review.

Learn about VA Healthcare Advancement and Partnerships. For caregiving tips for Veterans diagnosed with ALS, visit the VA Caregiver Support Program.