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Stony Brook ALS Center Recognized for Meeting Highest National Standards of Care


Christopher Pendergast, center, with the ALS Association recertification plaque, conceived the idea to create a comprehensive ALS clinic at Stony Brook. Holding the plaque are Rahman Pourmand, MD, left, Co-Director of the ALS Center of Excellence; and Dorine Gordon, President & CEO, ALS Association, Greater New York Chapter. Also pictured are, from left: Adele Marano of ALSA, Greater New York Chapter; Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President, Health Sciences, and Dean, School of Medicine; Nurcan Gursoy, MD, Co-Director ALS Center of Excellence, and Theresa Imperato, RN, ALS Center Coordinator.
The Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence receives national recertification; "Ride for Life" generates more than $150,000 for research at the Center

The Christopher Pendergast ALS Center of Excellence, the only ALS Association-certified center on Long Island, has successfully received recertification as a "Treatment Center of Excellence" by the national association. The ALS Association cited the Center as having the "highest national standards of care in the management of Lou Gehrig's disease." To commemorate this milestone, the association awarded the Center with a $12,500 grant and a plaque marking its designation.

Named in 2010 in honor of Christopher Pendergast, a 21-year ALS patient, advocate and founder of the Ride for Life Organization, the ALS Center of Excellence is one of only 34 ALS Association-certified centers in the United States and three in New York State. The Center first received certification in 2009. The Center provides comprehensive treatment for ALS patients, supportive services for patients and their families, and carries out neuroscience research in search of new treatments, and ultimately a cure for this fatal neurodegenerative disease.

"Stony Brook Medicine is committed to investigating the causes of this devastating disease and finding neurobiology targets that may greatly improve treatments," said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. "The Center has provided incredible care for those who suffer with ALS, and with new treatment trials we hope to advance this care to an even higher level."

"We are so proud of the longstanding commitment that Stony Brook's ALS Center and our chapter has had together to provide excellent care and supportive services to people with ALS in the community and beyond," said Dorine Gordon, President & CEO of the ALS Association, Greater New York Chapter. Gordon presented the commemorative plaque to the Center's leadership and Christopher Pendergast.

"The dream to find a cure continues," said Pendergast, who conceived the concept of a comprehensive ALS clinic at Stony Brook 15 years ago that led to its establishment. "Stony Brook has created something special with this Center of Excellence, and its talented physicians and researchers continue to search clues that may bring us to the doorstep of that cure."

Pendergast said his Ride for Life Organization will continue to fund ALS research and clinical services at the Center. He estimated that through the proceeds from this year's "Ride for Life" event in May, more than $150,000 will be awarded this year for the Center to help fund its ALS research programs and other initiatives.
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