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Ataxia Centers of Excellence

A designation to recognize centers that provide comprehensive care and services for individuals affected by Ataxia and their families.

NAF’s Ataxia Centers of Excellence (ACE) program is to designate exceptional regional centers providing comprehensive care and services for individuals affected by Ataxia and their families. In addition to providing expert clinical care for a variety of Ataxias and Ataxia-related disorders, the Centers should be engaged in clinical research and/or clinical trials, provide professional and lay education to patients and their families in the areas they serve, and work with NAF locally and nationally in its efforts to continually improve the lives of those affected by Ataxia.

Current NAF Ataxia Centers of Excellence in the United States are listed on the map below. Select a state to view more information. International ACE’s are listed in alphabetical order below the map.

United States

Map Key: 
Blue states have at least one ACE clinic; White states do not have an ACE clinic.
Stars indicate the location of an ACE clinic.

International

MJD Foundation

North Territory, Australia

Website: mjd.org.au
Phone: 1300 584 122
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

Neurogenetics Research Center at Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Neurológicas

Lima, Peru

Website: www.incn.gob.pe
Phone: 511 4117700
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital's Ataxia Clinic

Melbourne, Australia

Website: eyeandear.org.au/
Phone: 03 9929 8666
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

The Ataxia Centre London

London, UK

Website: www.uclh.nhs.uk
Phone: 020 3448 3100
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

Université de Montréal (CHUM)

Montréal, QC

Website: www.chumontreal.qc.ca
Phone: 514 890-8000
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

University Hospital Bonn/German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Bonn, Germany

Website: www.ukbonn.de/
Phone: 49 228 2870
Detailed Information: Click here to learn more.

DESIGNATION CRITERIA

Comprehensive Clinical Care

  • Must have a coordinated ataxia clinical care team to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary ataxia care that includes two or more neurologists with specialized training/experience in ataxia or movement disorders.
  • Offer Referral Services, such as, but not limited to:
    • Genetic Counseling and Testing
    • Urology
    • Cardiology
    • Ophthalmology
    • Psychiatry/Psychology
    • Family Planning & Reproductive Health
    • Trained Rehabilitation Specialists (e.g., Physical and Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology)
    • Social Services
  • Provide clinical care for at least 30 ataxia patients annually and patients must span a variety of ataxia types.

Professional Training and Research

  • Provide clinical education and training to health care professionals (e.g., fellows, nurses, PTs, social workers) through formal rotations and/or fellowships.
  • Must have a designated clinical coordinator who dedicates some time to ataxia and demonstrate active engagement in ataxia clinical trials and/or research studies.

Community Education and Outreach

  • Engage in community-based educational or outreach events for individuals with ataxia, care partners and families (e.g., participate in fundraisers, patient meetings, support groups).
  • Promote patient engagement in clinical research studies and clinical trials.

HOW TO APPLY

NAF accepts applications two times per year. If approved, designated centers will maintain their recommendation for five years from the date of approval, at which time they will be required to re-submit a proposal for review. Selected sites must meet annual reporting requirements to maintain ACE designation. 

The 2024 ACE Application Form will be available in March of 2024. If you have any questions, email Kelsey Trace at kelsey@ataxia.org

APPLICATION CYCLE

March 1, 2024 –
May 31, 2024

June 1, 2024 –
September 30, 2024

APPLICATION DUE DATE 

End of Business Day –
May 31, 2024

End of Business Day –
September 30, 2024

DECISION COMMUNICATED BY

July 15, 2024

November 15, 2024

START/
END DATE 

August 2024 /
July 2029

December 2024 /
November 2029

BENEFITS & REQUIREMENTS AFTER DESIGNATION

Benefits

  • NAF ACE branded plaque for public display in clinic.
  • Approval to use designation in institutional or clinic promotional materials and external communications or applications.
  • Recommendation to patients on NAF website as an Ataxia Center of Excellence.
  • Listed in NAF-recommended clinical trial site registry to be provided to NAF industry partners.
  • Regular updates on new and ongoing clinical trials, referral programs, grant opportunities, and pertinent updates on ataxia standard of care.
  • Become part of a network of ataxia clinical experts that can provide support, guidance, and new opportunities for collaboration for improved ataxia clinical care and research.

Requirements After Designation as NAF Ataxia Center of Excellence

  1. Annual Patient Population Report: The purpose of this report is to better understand the regional distribution of ataxia patients and to provide guidance for industry partners on site selection for clinical trials. This report will require each center to enter the number of patients with specific ataxia disorders that were seen in the previous year. No other clinical or demographic information will be required about patients (e.g. 7 unique SCA1 patients seen in 2022). A templated report will be provided to each designated center and the first report will be due 13 months after the designation start date.
  2. Annual Clinical Study and Trial Report: The purpose of this report is to assist NAF in providing guidance and recruitment material for our patient membership seeking participation in clinical research and trials. Centers will provide an annual summary report of ongoing clinical research and trials at your site. The first report will be due 13 months after the designation start date.
  3. Participate in at least one local or virtual patient support group per year.
  4. Provide current contact information of clinic lead neurologists for periodic NAF communications.

REVIEWING AND SCORING OF APPLICANTS

Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of NAF staff, representatives from the NAF Medical Research and Advisory Board, an industry representative from NAF’s Drug Development Collaborative, and a patient representative. All applications will be scored, using the following criteria:

  1. The quality of the overall application and services provided.
  2. Engagement in clinical research and trials.
  3. Geographic diversity.
  4. History of commitment to NAF Community Outreach and Education OR demonstration of plan to commit to NAF Community Outreach and Education.

The scoring of applications is part of an internal review process. Therefore, scores will not be shared with any site applying for designation, regardless of whether the site is given designation. Following review of the application, applicants not selected for designation may request a virtual meeting to discuss avenues to strengthen future applications.

CONTACT US

If you have any questions about NAF’s Ataxia Center of Excellence designation, contact our Research Services Director, Kelsey Trace, at kelsey@ataxia.org.

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