Doctors

ALS Doctors

With a multidisciplinary care team clinicians from multiple disciplines work together to provide advanced, specialized care from many perspectives. Patients receive all ALS-related care in one place. For our patients' convenience, we try to schedule as many same-day visits with multiple specialists as needed.

Nurses

Nurses

Darlene Sawicki, NP, Co-Director of MGH ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic and the nurse team are available to answer questions regarding health concerns or issues related to your care and to assist you with prescription refills.

Therapy

Physical Therapy

Physical therapists Katherine Burke, PT, DPT, NCS and Amy Swartz PT, DPTwork with patients to prolong mobility and function. Recommendations may include exercises, assistive devices, adaptive equipment and outpatient or homecare therapy.

Respiratory Therapy

Our clinic's respiratory therapist, Purris Williams, RRT, works with patients to evaluate breathing concerns, provide education about their respiratory issues and recommend supportive equipment.

Occupational Therapy

An occupational therapist helps evaluate function and makes suggestions for skills that are essential for independent functioning, health and wellbeing.

Speech Pathology

Our clinic's speech pathologist, Paige Nalipinski, MA, CLL, SLP specializes in working with ALS patients to evaluate any speech and swallowing issues that ALS might cause. She can also help arrange for communication devices.

Other Specialists

Other Specialists

  • Cassandra (Cara) Lund

    Social Worker

    Cara is a licensed clinical social worker with several years' experience in case management and patient support.  Most recently, she spent over five years working as a Renal Social Worker in outpatient dialysis, providing a large and diverse patient population with both psychosocial and resource-based support.  Before this she worked with a youth/family population at Shriners Hospital, and an elder population at Windsor House Adult Day Health in Cambridge.  She is passionate about supporting patients managing chronic illnesses, and very excited to be joining the Neurology team at MGH.

    Cara holds a Master's degree in Social Work from Boston College, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Bryn Mawr College.  In her free time, she enjoys following the local sports teams (a Boston native!), cooking, photography, and travel.

  • Diane Lunte

    Genetic Counselor

    Diane Lucente, MS, LCGC worked as a research technician investigating the genetic cause of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions for several years before training to become a Genetic Counselor, a role that she has filled for almost 20 years. For the past 12 years, she has been a Senior Research and Clinical Genetic Counselor in the MGH Center for Human Genetic Research and a member of the FTD and Clinical Genetic Units. She provides clinical care to patients and families with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions, including diagnostic testing for patients with symptoms and pre-symptomatic testing for individuals with a 50% chance of inheriting a genetic condition. She recently "officially" joined the NCRI, proving genetic counseling to ALS patients and their families who are participating in research.  She continues to be actively involved in research to determine the genetic causes and modifiers of many neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions.

Clinical Research

Our research staff are dedicated to increasing knowledge about ALS and advancing patient care. Contact our research staff by e-mail or phone at 617-643-3980 to learn how you can participate in ongoing ALS research at Mass General Hospital.

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