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VUMC designated as a Neuropathy Center of Excellence

BY: LESLIE HAST

3/19/2010 - The Neuropathy Association has named Vanderbilt University Medical Center a Neuropathy Center of Excellence, one of 14 in the nation.

The Neuropathy Association's network of Neuropathy Centers of Excellence recognizes hubs of specialized clinical care and research to ensure neuropathy patients have access to coordinated treatment, clinical research trials and the most up-to-date therapies.

VUMC's Neuropathy Center of Excellence will be directed by Peter Donofrio, M.D., professor of Neurology.

Peter Donofrio, M.D.

Peter Donofrio, M.D.

“To be designated one of 14 Neuropathy Centers is an honor for VUMC because it means we're not only the best in Tennessee but one of the finest in the country,” Donofrio said.

“This will make us a magnet for referrals and allow us to make a significant difference in the quality of care for patients living with neuropathy.”

Neuropathy is a neurological condition due to degeneration and damage of peripheral nerves and is estimated to affect more than 20 million Americans. It has many causes, but the most common is diabetes.

“Many physicians don't recognize the condition or fail to realize the many ways it can be managed effectively. In reality, the condition can be stabilized or even reversed in some situations with proper care. We are hoping to change the perceptions of patients and physicians through the establishment of this Center of Excellence,” Donofrio said.

The Neuropathy Association's president and CEO, Tina Tockarshewsky said, “Each Center of Excellence and center affiliation advances our mission of improving access to care for patients and increasing general awareness of neuropathy by both the public and health care professionals. It also provides another means to close the gap between research and clinical practice.”

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