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Above and Beyond: UK HealthCare’s ALS Clinic assisting patients with equipment loan closet

By Laura Dawahare
Special to KyForward

Last month, the UK HealthCare ALS Clinic earned a coveted recognition from the ALS Association: ALS Association Certified Treatment Center of Excellence. The certification honors UK’s commitment to ALS research and patient care, which centers around a multidisciplinary approach where ALS patients see a variety of specialists in a single visit.

(Read more about ALSA Certification here.)

But the ALS Clinic—part of UK’s Kentucky Neuroscience Institute (KNI) — goes beyond those requirements, offering a valuable service called the ALS Equipment Loan Closet in partnership with the ALS Association’s Kentucky Chapter and Roddy and Kim Williams, who co-own APEX Mobility.

ALS need sophisticated equipment that can take months to arrive. The ALS Equipment Loan Closet bridges the gap between a patient’s diagnosis and the arrival of his/her equipment

“ALS is decimating financially, as patients require expensive, customized equipment to help prolong their independence, and they often need it right away,” said Dr. Edward Kasarskis, UK HealthCare ALS clinic director. “The Loan Closet helps bridge the gap between a patient’s diagnosis and the time it takes for the equipment to arrive.”

Kim Williams explains that a customized wheelchair can have any number of features to help the patient navigate, sleep, and/or stand. That level of technology comes with a steep price tag — between $25,000 to $30,000 — and the process can take up to eight weeks from insurance approval/reimbursement to equipment delivery.

“ALS is often not diagnosed until the patient has significant symptoms and you can’t just get equipment off the shelf,” said Williams. “The Loan Closet exists so that the patient and his/her family can adjust more quickly,” adding that she and Roddy see it as critical to patient safety, independence and well-being.

Williams comes to UK’s Kentucky Neurosciences Institute (KNI) every Tuesday to visit with ALS patients and match their needs to what’s currently available, which can range from wheelchairs to walkers and lifts to speech generating devices.

The Loan Closet is stocked through equipment donations from the families of former patients and supplemented by fundraising and is available free of charge to patients.

According to Kim, Kasarskis approached Roddy about 13 years ago, begging for help on behalf of his patients.

“By the second time Roddy visited the ALS Clinic, he was hooked,” Kim said. “It became his passion to help these people.” Since then, APEX Mobility has focused almost entirely on the needs of ALS patients.

Kasarskis, who is similarly devoted to his patients, sings Roddy’s praises.

“Roddy and Kim do this with a generous heart, and in doing so make the lives of countless patients and families a lot better. For that, we are so grateful.”

Laura Dawahare writes for UK Now

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One Comment

  1. Charles Newton says:

    Hello , my name is Charles Newton and my Mom was diagnosed with ALS in March of 09 and she passed April 21st , 2011. Since then I have dedicated myself to help raise money for research to help find a cure .

    I’m getting together my 1st charity benefit called ” A Night of Remembrance ”

    PERRYVILLE JAMBOREE FEATURING THE KING OF ROCK & ROLL Barry Lockard as ELVIS PRESLEY for the “NIGHT of REMEMBRANCE“ for ALS of KY. (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) Also featuring Jim Ashbrook & Lexy Clark (Both great variety genres singers). Friday – October 26th from 7 – 10 pm Remembering those of Danville/Boyle Co. & surrounding counties – who have either passed away from this disease or is presently living with it.

    Come join us for a night of music and fun to help raise money for the ALS– KY. Chapter. This is what we are hoping will become our 1st Annual Event here at the Jamboree. Many thanks to Chris Brummett for his generously offering us the use of the Jamboree. If you see Chris out ‘n about, give him a Big Thanks for helping ALS. We will be featuring Barry Lockard from Corbin, KY. as the King of Rock n Roll – ELVIS PRESLEY (He sings with his own voice people and he sounds so much like ELVIS – even looks like him), Jim Ashbrook of Somerset, KY – a former gospel quartet member who will be singing a variety of music along with some gospel & Lexi Clark of McKinney, KY – a great country singer who will be singing your favorite country songs and some gospel . We will also be raffling off $1 Each ticket or 6 tickets for $5 & doing a silent auction using the many great gifts that were generously donated by the following businesses : Posh Apparel – Little Paws – Valvoline Oil Change – Stuart Powell – Impressions Salon & Spa – O’Reilly’s Auto Parts – McDowell Wellness Center – Ace Hardware – Melton’s Deli – CarTunes of Danville – Wendy’s – Nails Express – Studio 7 – Danville Cinemas – Bluegrass Barber Shop – Ken Towery – Cheddar’s – Great Clips – Danville Manor Barber Shop – Industrial Park Distributor’s LLC – Mattresses & More – Starbucks – AutoZone – Medicine Shop – Both Hair Design & KC’S GYMNASTICS . If you shop at any of these businesses, PLEASE give them a Big Thanks for helping ALS. PLEASE GET YOUR PREPAID $10 TICKETS IN ADVANCE BY CALLING EITHER ME: CHARLIE NEWTON 859-583-3415 OR CHRIS BRUMETT AT THE JAMBOREE 859-583-9780 — THE JAMBOREE ONLY HOLDS 333 PEOPLE — SO GET YOUR PREPAID TICKETS IN ADVANCE TO GUARANTEE YOU WILL HAVE A SEAT FOR THIS EXCITING EVENT. — TICKETS WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR STARTING SALES AT 6:00 PM — PLEASE COME JOIN US & HELP SUPPORT A GREAT CHARITY = ALS OF KY. CHAPTER

    Go to the ALS of Ky. website or The Perryville Jamboree’s website or Elvis by Barry website to see more .


    Many thanks to Doctor Kasarskis and his endless work at trying to find a cure for this horrible disease .

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