Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD), a nonprofit organization leading the fight to end Duchense muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), announced the expansion of their renowned Certified Duchenne Care Center (CDCC) Program with the certification of the Billings Clinic in Billings, Montana. This is an exciting addition to the CDCC Program as it is not only the first certification in the state of Montana, but brings comprehensive Duchenne care to a large geographic region with otherwise minimal access to comprehensive care for Duchenne.

Rachel Schrader, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, PPMD’s Vice President of Clinical Care and Education says the certification of Billings Clinic is an exciting addition to the CDCC network, particularly considering the access to Duchenne care it offers for families living in remote parts of Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota. “While the clinic numbers are small, the catchment area is huge, and having a certified center in Billings serves to fill an otherwise gaping hole in our CDCC map. This allows patients to access excellent Duchenne care without having to drive as far as Washington, Colorado, or Wisconsin to access a CDCC. It’s really transformational for the families in the region as well as Billings Clinic’s continued growth. We are really excited to see how their program develops, and to have the opportunity to partner with them for years to come,” said Schrader.

While Billings Clinic has a small Duchenne and Becker population of about 15 patients, the overall neuromuscular program has tripled in size over the last three years upon the arrival of Shelly Eagen, NP. Eagen trained under Dr. Mary Schroth at Wisconsin before relocating to Billings nearly three years ago to serve the local pediatric pulmonary needs and coordination for the neuromuscular program. Further, Dr. Elizabeth “Lynne” Wood joined the team as clinic director in 2021 after completing her training at Children’s Hospital Colorado, with whom Billings Clinic has a partnership to ensure quaternary care is available to those in need.

“We are honored to be certified by PPMD as a Certified Duchenne Care Center and are committed to continuing to provide high level, comprehensive multidisciplinary neuromuscular care to patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in our region,” said Elizabeth Wood, MD and Shelly Eagen, NP on behalf of the Billings Clinic team. “This could never have been achieved without the commitment and dedication of our entire team or without our wonderful patient families. Many thanks to all involved.”

PPMD’s Certified Duchenne Care Center Program supports standardized, comprehensive care and services for all people living with Duchenne. Certification means centers maintain the highest standards in clinical and sub-specialty services, rapidly apply new evidence-based knowledge, minimize heterogeneity in clinical research outcomes, and comply with standards in clinical care that were established by the CDC’s Care Considerations. As part of its ongoing mission to end Duchenne, PPMD continues to insist that all people with Duchenne receive comprehensive care.

[Source(s): Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, PR Newswire]

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