Who's Who 2012 - Lori Dobbs

Monday, March 19, 2012
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com

As care services and outreach specialist for the ALS Association, Lori Dobbs coordinates care, appointments and equipment for individuals diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. She thinks nothing of taking calls at all hours from ALS patients, and offers just as much support for their families. Dobbs lives in Jackson with her husband Chuck and three sons: Chandler, 18; Braden, 13; and Parker, 11. When she's not working, she participates in charity walks and fundraisers and helps out with her children's sports activities.

What do you love about your work?

I work with families that are dealing with a devastating disease, with no known origin, treatment or cure. Our chapter provides services free of charge to help families remain a unit of strength and overcome the obstacles that ALS presents in their lives. I see the difference these services can make and witness strength, courage and love between the patient and the caregiver as they face the most difficult time in their lives.

How is your career field growing?

I have been working with ALS families in Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois for 15 years. Symptom management and research advancements have drastically increased, as has awareness of ALS. In 2011, I led the chapter's efforts to partner with Saint Francis Medical Center to open a multidisciplinary ALS-specific clinic to create a continuum of care and overcome rural health obstacles.

What inspires you?

The families I work with inspire me. I remain in awe of families that are dealing with ALS and are able to set aside their personal tragedy to help the chapter raise funds for research so that others will never have to experience the same diagnosis. I am also inspired by our community partners, especially Alliance Rehab and Medical Equipment in Sikeston, which opened its doors to me and the chapter to establish a local office in Southeast Missouri. Partnering with companies that match my personal philosophy, and the chapter's -- that patients matter most -- is a reminder that good can come out of every situation.

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