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Charity Navigator Awards The ALS Association Florida Chapter with 4-Star Rating for the Third Consecutive Year!

On February 1, 2017, Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities, has awarded The ALS Association Florida Chapter the prestigious 4-star rating for the third consecutive year for good governance, sound fiscal management, and commitment to accountability and transparency.  

Charity Navigator works to help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing information on more than five thousand charities nationwide and by evaluating their financial health.  It calculates each charity’s score based upon several broad criteria, including how much is spent per dollar raised, what percentage of funds goes to programs vs. administrative and fund-raising expenses, and the organization’s long-term financial health.  It then assigns a rating from one to four, with four being the best rating.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating.  “The ALS Association Florida Chapter’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator.  “Only 15% of the charities we evaluate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that The ALS Association Florida Chapter outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator sets The ALS Association Florida Chapter apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

“We are truly honored to receive Charity Navigator’s highest rating for the third consecutive year,” said Kim Hanna, President and CEO of the Chapter.  “This distinction reflects our accountability to all of our constituencies and our commitment to remain true to our mission of leading the fight to treat and cure ALS while providing the care and support necessary to people living with ALS around the state.”

More detailed information about The ALS Association Florida Chapter’s third consecutive 4-star rating is available on the Charity Navigator website here: CharityNavigator.org.


Beyond The Bucket: Where Are We Now?

It's beenover 2 years since the #ALSIceBucketChallenge and we are forever grateful for each and every person who joined our cause and for the loyal supporters who have been with us for years. Because of you, our ALS community has renewed determination and hope in leading the fight against this disease.
People all over the world donated more than $220 million to ALS charities, with an incredible $115 million contributed to The ALS Association during the Ice Bucket Challenge.  So, how is this money making difference?

Check out this infographic that shows how your support accelerates the discovery of effective treatments for ALS:

ALS IBC Funds Infographic

But our work is not over.

It can cost $2 billion and take 15 years to develop one new drug. That’s why we are relying on you to help keep the momentum – and progress – pushing forward.  Together, we CAN make a difference in the quest to treat and cure ALS.  #EveryAugustUntilACure


State Renews Funding For Florida's ALS Clinics 

The Florida Legislature has renewed funding for the Bitner/Plante Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Initiative of Florida, once again providing $1 million to ALS clinics around the state that provide patients with comprehensive ALS Care. The Bitner-Plante ALS Clinic Initiative is funded by The ALS Association Florida Chapter and The State of Florida Department of Health.

“The Legislature stepped up to the plate and recognized the importance of access and the challenges faced by ALS patients,” said Clifton Gooch, MD, professor and chair of the USF Health Department of Neurology and an ALS specialist. “By continuing to fund these multidisciplinary centers, they made a path for patients and their families to get much needed coordinated care.”

The original funding in last year’s legislative session expanded the services of Florida clinics offering the highest level of comprehensive multidisciplinary ALS Care and included USF, University of Miami, University of Florida Shands in Jacksonville, and the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. Last year’s funding allowed the USF clinic to double the number of patients seen by the USF ALS team and this year’s funding will enable that level of service to continue, Dr. Gooch said.

The original Bitner-Plante ALS Florida Initiative came about through the efforts of Wendy Bitner (widow of the late Florida GOP Chairman David Bitner, who died of ALS in September 2011), The ALS Association Florida Chapter, and USF Health’s lobbyist Pamela Pfeifer, USF Health associate vice president of Government Relations.
“Pam Pfeifer with USF health worked diligently during the legislative session to help insure that the million in the Bitner/Plante ALS initiative remain funded at its current level,” said Bitner, who is a member of The ALS Association Florida Chapter’s board of directors.

Providing such comprehensive clinics is imperative for ALS patients, said Kim Hanna, president of the ALS Association Florida Chapter.

“Evidence shows that multidisciplinary clinic care can extend the life of an ALS patient,” Hanna said. “Continuation of the Bitner/Plante ALS initiative funding is critical for people living with Lou Gehrig’s disease in Florida.”Florida Health Logo

Dr. Gooch agrees.  “ALS multidisciplinary clinics have been proven to extend patient survival by 30 percent or more, sometimes adding years of life,” Dr. Gooch said. “It’s also important not to underestimate the value of these face-to-face visits for patients and their families. The impact of the human touch is vital in treating ALS and the clinic itself also becomes a de facto support group, providing a real community and support for both patient and caregiver.”  Florida Department of Health
"Incidentally," Hanna noted, "Florida is the only state to fund ALS Clinics."


ALS Certified Centers of Excellence and Recognized Treatment Centers are sponsored by The ALS Association Florida Chapter and the State of Florida, Deparment of Health.