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Tim Lowrey Panel: ALS 101

Allow me to introduce you to an incredibly informative program offered by I AM ALS, and a group of amazing volunteers. Bringing personal ALS life experiences to your organization(s).

The Tim Lowrey Panel Series evolved from an I AM ALS Community Outreach Team initiative to find ways to educate people about ALS and raise awareness about what it’s like to live with ALS and care for people living with ALS. We hope to inspire the audience to join the I AM ALS movement to end this fatal disease.

A panel was first assembled for a class of nursing students and was a huge success. The panel lasted nearly three hours, and almost immediately we began thinking about ways to present panels to other audiences. We reached out to professors at medical, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing, and speech pathology schools. We hoped that some schools would be interested, so we could educate students about things to consider when they encounter an ALS patient. Since most of the students do not spend much time on ALS in class, we want to give them a memorable exposure to us.

As is often the case with Community Outreach initiatives, someone who is particularly passionate about a project takes the lead. In the case of educational panels, that person was Tim Lowrey. He was instrumental in presenting panels to different audiences, including his former pharmacy colleagues at Wegman’s. Our past audiences, organizations, and professionals have found the panels to be a valuable learning experience.

Tim Lowrey and Tim Abeska work together to form the Panels and develop content which is appropriate for the audience. We have a team of dedicated panelists who participate, including people living with ALS, current and former caregivers, and other people who have lost a loved one to ALS.

A typical panel begins with introductions from the panelists. We then share a brief PowerPoint presentation to provide some facts about ALS and I AM ALS, followed by predetermined questions (sent to us by the point of contact for the recipient organization or provided by us based on previous sessions) and topics from our panelists. We then open the conversation to questions from the audience. These panels can be one hour or longer, depending upon the needs of the organization requesting a panel. We can also follow-up with anyone after the panel to answer questions.

After the panel presentation we send a survey to the contact person asking that members of the audience provide feedback for us to use to improve upon the product.

We do this on a volunteer basis.

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