Hackensack Meridian's Dr. Mary Sedarous wins ALS United Mid-Atlantic's Flame of Hope Award

Hackensack Meridian Neuroscience Institute at Jersey Shore University Medical Center's Mary Sedarous, M.D., medical director of the ALS Center, was honored at ALS United Mid-Atlantic's 2023 Annual Celebration with the organization's Flame of Hope Award, recognizing research and innovation.

Dr. Sedarous is simply amazing. She has that perfect combination of being extremely competent and intelligent, compassionate, and engaged with her and the team's mission to care for those with ALS and their loved ones. Honoring Dr. Sedarous and the ALS Center at Jersey Shore with the Flame of Hope Award was our distinct pleasure."

Steve Spaulding, Director of Care Services, ALS United Mid-Atlantic

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, is a progressive, debilitating disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in muscle weakness and atrophy. ALS often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.

In 2015, Dr. Sedarous and her team created a multidisciplinary ALS treatment center with an aim to provide high-quality care to individuals with the disease, in central and southern New Jersey. Since its launch, Dr. Sedarous has searched for ways to innovate and broaden her care for patients, and the exploration of the condition.

"As a national leader in the fight against ALS, I can't imagine a better recipient of the Flame of Hope Award than Dr. Sedarous," said Alan Colicchio, M.D., chair of Neurology, Jersey Shore University Medical Center and medical director, Neuroscience Care Transformation Service, Hackensack Meridian Health, Southern Market. "Her team is furthering significant research related to assistive technology to optimize quality of life for those with ALS, and was the first center in New Jersey to provide Relyvrio, an FDA-approved ALS treatment, when it was released in 2022."

Jersey Shore University Medical Center's ALS Center collaborates with ALS United Mid-Atlantic, ALS Association and the Northeast ALS consortium (NEALS), allowing the exchange of research and best care practices with the nation's leading ALS experts and clinics.

"Dr. Sedarous is so deserving of the Flame of Hope Award, she and the ALS Center team continue to pioneer clinical interventions and provide the latest medications for their patients," said Kenneth N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, regional president, Southern Market, Hackensack Meridian Health. "She is exceedingly dedicated to those patients and their families."

The ALS Center is one of only two nationally Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence in New Jersey, as designated by the ALS Association. The center's multidisciplinary team provides patients diagnosed with ALS with the unique, comprehensive care they require.

"Dr. Sedarous and her team have come to be regarded as prestigious leaders within their field and staunch supporters of the ALS community," said Vito Buccellato, MPA, LNHA, president and chief hospital executive, Jersey Shore University Medical Center (JSUMC). "I'm extremely proud of their work, providing hope to their patients with their tremendous commitment to fighting this deadly disease."

Individuals can view this video for more information about the ALS Center and Dr. Sedarous' efforts; www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQjnywUKOP4.

The ALS Center is supported by the Joan Dancy and PALS Foundation, providing valuable feedback, education and in-service training to enhance the care experience. It is located in the Dr. Robert H. Harris Neuroscience Treatment Center, home to specialists in numerous neurological diseases and conditions. They provide diagnostic, medical and surgical treatments at JSUMC for multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke, epilepsy and other movement disorders, pediatric neurology, headaches and migraines, sleep medicine and neuro-oncology, among others.

Neuroscience services also include the Center for Memory and Healthy Aging, Center for Paralysis and Reconstructive Nerve Surgery, Center for Advanced Skull Base Surgery, the Craniofacial Center, which is certified as an American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, and a General Neurosurgery Program, including spine surgery.

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