LOS ANGELES — The Muscular Dystrophy Association and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles announced today a new clinical partnership for a multidisciplinary pediatric clinic that will provide care to Southern California children living with neuromuscular diseases. A grand opening ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, 10 a.m., at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Board-certified physicians specializing in neurology, cardiology and pulmonology will collaborate in one clinical location to provide highly specialized medical care to children who are affected by muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and other neuromuscular diseases.
“Through this partnership with MDA, we’re able to provide neuromuscular patients with a convenient, centralized location where they can see multiple specialists in one visit,” said Leigh Maria Ramos-Platt, M.D., director of the MDA Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “With a multidisciplinary approach, our specialists are better equipped to create a comprehensive treatment plan to deliver the highest quality care possible.”
The MDA Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will provide diagnostic procedures to determine whether a child has a neuromuscular disease. Some of the procedures involve testing muscle strength and appearance; testing the amount of muscle proteins present in the blood; and genetic testing for families to determine if any other family members may be at risk.
Part of the clinic’s specialized care includes physical and respiratory therapy and - in some cases - speech therapy when mouth and throat muscles become weakened. Families receiving care at the clinic also will be supported by health care social workers who will help guide them through the challenges they face daily, and provide support groups where they can meet and share experiences with others.
Neuromuscular disease experts provide medical care at 200 MDA clinics nationwide, adhering to a strict standard of care guidelines for treating children and adults with muscle diseases. The MDA Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will be affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, and provide on-site training for medical students and residents.
“MDA is pleased to welcome Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to our nationwide network of clinics,” said MDA Interim President and Medical Director Valerie A. Cwik, M.D. “Working together, pediatric specialists will provide Southern California families with state-of-the-art care for complex neuromuscular diseases, and they also will benefit from collaborating with neuromuscular disease experts throughout our national clinical network.”
In addition to maintaining a network of 200 medical clinics nationwide, MDA funds some 300 research projects worldwide; facilitates support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters fighting progressive muscle diseases.
About Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children’s hospital in California and is among the best in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children’s Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. The hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.