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ALS Clinical Team

ALS Team

Through assessment, education, intervention, instruction and collaboration the ALS clinical team strives to ensure the optimum functioning and quality of life for each of our patients.

Core Clinical ALS Team

John Ravits

John Ravits, MD

Neurologist, ALS Clinic Director

  • Evaluates neurologic function to offer diagnosis or confirmation of diagnosis
  • Addresses questions and concerns of patients, families and caregivers
  • Monitors long-term course of disease
  • Educates patients so that they can make informed decisions about their care
  • Initiates and oversees proactive treatment plans, as needed
Susie Morrell

Susie Morrell, RN

Clinical Nurse Coordinator

    Important Tip

    Maintain a list with phone numbers and email addresses of your clinical team members, social services, medical equipment contacts and others important to your care.

  • Coordinates overall clinic services
  • Plans and implements medical treatment
  • Connects patients with appropriate community resources
  • Provides information and instruction to patients and family members
Joanna Burgess

Joanna Burgess, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Completes diagnostic evaluations of speech communication and swallowing impairment
  • Provides patient and family education on speech strategies and assistive technology to improve communication
  • Provides swallowing intervention and education to reduce risk of aspiration
  • Provides education on food and liquid texture modification for increased ease of chewing and swallowing
Melissa Doyle

Melissa Doyle

Physical Therapist
(619) 543-6222

  • Provides comprehensive patient and caregiver education
  • Assesses appropriateness of physical therapy and occupational therapy based on strength, ambulation/gait, fine motor coordination/splinting needs and performance in activities of daily living
  • Coordinates comprehensive outpatient or home care for therapy services
  • Determines the necessity of equipment such as power wheelchairs, hoyer lifts or durable medical equipment for patients
Cayleigh Mackay

Cayleigh Mackay, MS RD

Clinical Dietician

  • Assesses nutritional needs and identifies nutritional requirements with regard to age and disease-specific needs of the patient
  • Addresses nutritional concerns such as changes in weight (loss or gain), swallowing or chewing difficulties, self-feeding difficulties and nutrient deficiencies
  • Continuously monitors and evaluates effectiveness and outcomes of medical nutrition therapy interventions
Debbie Wais

Deborah Wais, MSW, LCSW

Social Worker

  • Assesses impact of disease on social, psychological and functional aspects of patients and family members
  • Provides support and counseling and refers patients and families to outside resources
Garner Faulkner

Garner Faulkner, II

ALS Pulmonary Specialist

  • Performs pulmonary function testing to monitor lung function
  • Recommends pulmonary support and monitors efficacy of therapy
  • Performs pulmonary function testing to monitor lung function
Keith Miller

Keith Miller

ALSA Representative
(858) 271-5547

  • Helps coordinate the needs of those registered with ALSA
  • Advocates for patients and caregivers regarding insurance and other social services
  • Provides monthly support groups for patients and their caregivers
  • Provides loans for equipment if available
Robert Kamei

Robert Kamei

Senior National Service Officer for Paralyzed Veteran Association

  • Explains VA benefits to patients and helps them enroll in the VA program
  • Advocates for and locates services as needed

You and your caregiver are the most important parts of the team. Any treatment suggested is ultimately your decision to undertake. Be proactive.

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  • Existing Patients
  • New Patients


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