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The ALS Association

Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Welcomes You to Our Third Annual


The Chapter’s Help & Hope Symposium is an entirely online program, featuring exciting presentations from esteemed ALS clinicians and researchers, as well as insight from ALS families. The event shares critical information from a panel of experts to help those living with ALS make decisions about mechanical ventilation, palliative care, and quality of life. HOPE is exemplified by presentations from three well-respected ALS researchers who provide first-hand knowledge of some of the most significant advances in ALS research today.

HELP: A panel of healthcare professionals discuss ALS respiratory care

Watch their presentations here.

These include a pulmonologist, nurse, social workers, assistive technology specialist, palliative care physician, respiratory therapist, and speech and language pathologists.

Members of the Chapter’s care team at The Jefferson Weinberg ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, The ALS Association Recognized Treatment Center at Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, The ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and Penn Comprehensive ALS Center at Pennsylvania Hospital (Penn Medicine Comprehensive ALS Center) present important beneficial information.

  • Alisa Brownlee, ATP, CLIPP, CAPS, WSP
    "Assistive Technology" (The ALS Association)

  • Melissa Coll, MSW, LSW, Anne Cooney, MSW, LSW, and Gail Houseman, RN, CNS-BC
    "Psychosocial Considerations" (These include financial considerations, insurance, quality of life, family dynamics/expectations) (The ALS Association)

  • Rick Gonzalez, CRT, RCP
    "Respiratory Therapist Perspective" (Geisinger ALS Center)

  • Ritu G. Grewal, MD
    "Pulmonologist Perspective" (The ALS Association)

  • Margaret Kreher, MD, FACP
    "Palliative Care Perspective" (The ALS Association)

  • Jennifer McKenna RD, CNSC, LDN and Leslie Hanlon Vnechak, MA, CCC-SLP
    "Speech Language Pathologist & Nutritionist Perspectives" (Penn Medicine Comprehensive ALS Center)

The Ventilator Decision:  ALS Families’ Perspectives

Heather and Steve Hildebrand provide a patient perspective on ventilation

Sue Laino (shown here with Gary Williams) offers insight into their decision regarding ventilation

HOPE: Three nationally-recognized ALS researchers present their latest findings

Watch their presentations here.

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Lucie I. Bruijn, PhD, MBA
Therapeutic Area Lead NIBR, BMO, Novartis
Therapeutic Landscape for ALS

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Sabrina Paganoni, MD, PhD    
Co-Director, Neurological Clinical Research Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital
HEALEY ALS Platform Trial AMX0035

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Zachary Simmons, MD     
Professor and Vice-Chair for Research, Penn State University
Director, The ALS Association Certified Center of Excellence at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Research Center

Thank you to all our impressive presenters. If you have any questions about the event, please contact Steve Spaulding, our Chapter’s Director of Care Services, at