Healthcare Services and Programs

At OhioHealth, we provide comprehensive care for ALS patients, from diagnosis through advanced disease stages.

What is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

Why Choose the OhioHealth ALS Program

  • Neurologists who specialize in ALS
  • OhioHealth ALS Clinic, is a multidisciplinary ALS clinic that provides one-stop, streamlined care for ALS patients
  • OhioHealth's system of care, connecting ALS patients with:
    • OhioHealth Home Care for medical equipment and in-home care
    • OhioHealth outpatient facilities for physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Regional outreach for care in surrounding central Ohio areas
  • Continuum of care through disease progression with resources and support for symptom management that meet the immediate needs of ALS patients
  • Questions answered for patients and their families in hours, not days

Our Approach to ALS Care

Our ALS specialists offer expertise that includes compassionate support and sensitivity to the unique, immediate needs of ALS patients and their families.

  • We help patients throughout the course of the disease, providing the care and support they need with the right specialists who understand the limitations and demands of ALS.
  • We work closely with families to help them proactively manage their loved one's life. This may include helping them understand signs and symptoms of ALS and next steps; connecting them to resources to help with home safety and home medical visits; and being available to listen and provide guidance.

ALS Diagnosis

Our ALS neurologists are experienced in distinguishing the subtle symptoms of early onset ALS from other, similar conditions. A diagnostic meeting includes:

  • A full physical exam and clinical evaluation
  • Determination for testing, such as EMG (electrodiagnostic test that looks at muscle and nerve function) blood tests and/or an MRI, as needed

Upon diagnosis, we explain the disease and work closely with patients and their families to help them make decisions about care.  If there is interest, we enroll them in the OhioHealth ALS Clinic.

ALS Treatment

While there is no known specific treatment for ALS, we offer and educate patients and families about the best options available that, throughout the disease, can include:

  • Symptom management medications
  • Any ALS-identified medications that may be on the market or in research. Patients can help advance research by self-enrolling in the National ALS Registry.
  • Assistance devices, such as a percutaneous endogastric tube (PEG) for swallowing difficulties or nutritional challenges

Meet Our OhioHealth ALS Neurologists

Kristin M. Johnson, DO is a neurologist working as part of the OhioHealth ALS program
Kristin M. Johnson, DO
Fellowship-trained neurologist specializing in
neuromuscular medicine, ALS and research 

John C. Novak, MD is a neurologist working as part of the OhioHealth ALS program
John C. Novak, MD
Fellowship-trained neurologist specializing in
neuromuscular medicine, ALS and research 

OhioHealth ALS Clinic

The OhioHealth ALS Clinic follows an exceptionally effective multidisciplinary design. We bring our ALS specialists together in one location so patients can get their needs met with streamlined care in one visit. There is no need for our ALS patients to travel to multiple locations to see multiple specialists. Learn more about the OhioHealth ALS Clinic. To contact the clinic, please call (614) 533-5613.

Meet Additional OhioHealth Experts on the ALS Team

ALS is a demanding neuromuscular disease that requires a large adaptive medical team to meet the progressive nature of the disease. The OhioHealth ALS clinic is set up to bring this team together for clinic days, in which our ALS patients can see many specialists in one convenient visit.  Meet the rest of the ALS team.