A new clinic has opened at UCF to best support Huntington’s disease (HD) patients and their families. The UCF clinic and its sister site at the AdventHealth Neuroscience Institute is designated as a partner site to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America Center of Excellence at the University of South Florida. UCF’s clinic offers multidisciplinary care from UCF College of Medicine neurologists, the UCF School of Social Work, and rehabilitation professions from the UCF College of Health Professions and Sciences. The UCF clinic is now open and seeing patients in Research Park at 3280 Progress Drive, suite 500.

“Our clinic integrates clinical care with research opportunities and support groups that enhance how we best support patients and families affected by HD,” says Amber Southwell, a researcher from the College of Medicine who focuses on Huntington's disease and is the clinic co-director. “This offers a more comprehensive approach to caring for those impacted by this disease and best connects patients to the rapidly changing field of science that is informing how to best target the root cause of the disease.”

To celebrate the launch of the new partnership clinic, a special educational event was hosted on May 7 at the UCF clinic site, which is inside the College of Health Professions and Sciences Rehabilitation Innovation Center. The event brought together healthcare professionals, HD patients, and their families to learn about the latest research, emerging therapies, care for individuals with HD in long-term care facilities, and services for people with HD. A special hologram appearance was made by actress Kate Miner from Showtime’s Shameless to talk about her family’s experience with HD.

Southwell says having an involved patient and family community helps providers and researchers to better meet patients’ needs and offers a much-needed support network.

To date, research has shown the benefits of integration of things like neurologic physical therapy and assistive technology, such as speech generating devices and adaptive equipment for mobility and activities of daily living. The new clinic integrates neurologists, psychologists, speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, social workers, and researchers to provide comprehensive care to patients and their caregivers, and to help answer important questions that will advance the field of care.

To learn more about the clinic, or to make an appointment, visit the HDSA Center of Excellence website.