INTEGRIS Neuromuscular Center expands services to Tulsa

Oklahoma's Nursing Times
May 17, 2010

- The MDA Neuromuscular Center at Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City announces a new program aimed at enhancing services to residents of Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma. Patients travel to the center from across Oklahoma and surrounding states, and by adding an eastern Oklahoma ALS nurse coordinator based in Tulsa, the center hopes to provide additional support to families in the area dealing with this devastating disease.

Barbara Graff, RN, B.S.N., M.Ed., serves as ALS coordinator for the area. Graff attends ALS clinics at the MDA Neuromuscular Center several times a month in Oklahoma City and the remainder of her time is spent in Tulsa and surrounding areas making home visits and providing additional education, resource information and support to patients and their families.

Integris Health established the comprehensive, multidisciplinary center to provide diagnostic services and follow-up care to people with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2006.

The center is one of only 38 MDA/ALS designated centers in the United States and the only one in Oklahoma. The center is under the direction of Brent Beson, M.D., a neuromuscular disease specialist affiliated with the Integris Southwest Neuroscience Institute. Beson is the only boardcertified neuromuscular neurologist in Oklahoma and one of only 200 in the United States. He heads a team that offers a multidisciplinary approach to the medical management of ALS.

According to Beson, “Our vision for this MDA/ALS center is to provide people with ALS and their families an entire team of professionals, dedicated to helping them learn to live successfully with ALS.”

In ALS, the destruction of nerve cells that control voluntary muscles causes progressive muscle-wasting and paralysis and is often fatal within five years. The cause of ALS, which affects approximately 30,000 Americans, isn’t fully understood and no cure currently exists.

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