Support Services

Support Groups & Education

The Foundation provides several opportunities for ALS patients and their families to come together, offering support to each other and receiving the professional advice and guidance of the Foundation’s Patient and Family Advocates.

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Support Groups

Monthly free support groups allow patients and caregivers to give and receive emotional support and to share information and practical experience. Groups are professionally facilitated and participants are encouraged to express their feelings about ALS openly—whether it’s with fear, anger, guilt, sadness or any other emotions. Support groups provide a welcoming environment and a sense of camaraderie with others who are living with this devastating disease. Currently, the Foundation offers support groups in five different areas of Chicagoland.

Support group meetings are open to patients, family members, caregivers and friends. Each facility is wheelchair accessible and offers free parking. We request that you RSVP if you are planning to attend any of these meetings to assure there is availability. Alternatively, if no one responds, meetings will not be held.

Please contact Judy Richman at or 847 679 3311 to RSVP, for more information on any support groups or meetings, or to be placed on our support group mailing list.

Read why the Foundation believes support groups are important.

Laurie B. Fieldman, LCSW, Patient and Family Advocate and Director of Social Services since 1999, received a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago  and a master’s degree in Management  from National Louis University. Laurie’s professional background includes being the founder and director of Marcie’s Place Camp for Grieving Children and as a social worker at Hospice of the North Shore.

Anne Lidsky, PhD, has served as a support group leader since 1983. She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois, her M.A. from Northeastern Illinois State University and her PhD in Counseling Psychology from Northwestern University. Anne is a licensed clinical psychologist.

Ileane Mindel, RN, Patient and Family Advocate since 1995, graduated from Mount Sinai Hospital School of Nursing of the City University of New York and previously worked at Hospice of the North Shore where she served as Coordinator of Patient Care and Payer Development.

Judy Richman, RN, BSN, Director of Patient Services, has been with the Foundation since 2007.  She has been involved in both the clinical and research aspects of ALS since 1989, working at major ALS centers in the Chicagoland area before joining the Les Turner Home and Community Services Team.  In addition to her primary role as a the Director of Patient Services, , she also serves as the Foundation’s representative to the International Alliance of ALS/MND.

Easton Stevenson, LCSW, joined the Foundation as a Patient and Family Advocate in2013. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Chicago. Easton’s professional background includes working with the HIV+ population, providing therapeutic services to infected adults and their affected children. Common issues that were addressed included depression, relationship issues, medication adherence, stress, diagnosis acceptance and end-of-life planning.

Julie Stowell, RN, CHPN, received her AD in Nursing from the College of DuPage in 1997. After working in critical care for 2 years, Julie spent the next 15 years in hospice care where she provided end-of-life care to all populations with terminal illnesses. However, she focused on the identification and treatment of the unique symptoms and equipment used to enhance the comfort and quality of life for ALS patients. As a hospice patient case manager, the management of physical and mental symptoms of verbal and non-verbal patients post surgery, post-chemotherapy and post radiation were commonly addressed. Julie joined the Foundation as a Patient and Family Advocate in March 2014.

Where: Journey Care Hospice – Pepper Family House
405 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington

Upcoming DatesSaturday, March 10, 2018
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Facilitator(s): Laurie B. Fieldman, LCSW and Karen Raley Steffens, RN, CHPN, CCM

Where: Foundation Office
5550 W. Touhy Avenue, Skokie

Upcoming DatesWednesday, March 21, 2018
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Facilitator(s): Ileane Mindel, RN and Anne Lidsky, PhD
Directions: Call 847 679 3311

Where: Marianjoy Rehab Center, conference center on the first floor of the Marianjoy Outpatient Building.
26 W 171 Roosevelt Road, Wheaton

Upcoming DatesSaturday, March 24, 2018
Time: 10:30am – 12:00pm
Facilitator(s): Ileane Mindel, RN, Julie Stowell, RN, CHPN and Elsa Cherwak, PT
Directions: Call 630 909 8439

Where: Saint Xavier University, Shannon Center 2nd floor conference room
3700 W 103rd Street, Chicago

Upcoming Dates: Thursday, March 1, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm
Facilitator(s): Ileane Mindel, RN and Easton Stevenson, LCSW
Directions: Parking lot is available at front and rear entrances. Facility is fully handicap accessible with an elevator to the conference rooms.
RSVP: Please RSVP to 847 679 3311 


Upcoming Events:

ALS News You Can Use Educational Conference
Practical solutions for people living with ALS/MND, their families and caregivers
Fall 2018


PALS Webinar-How Professionals Can Help the Kids in ALS Families
(Laurie B. Fieldman, LCSW, Director of Social Services)

Respiratory Videos: 

Video 1- Developing a Care Plan
Video 2- Respiratory Support Options
Video 3- Your Decisions for Your Quality of Life
Ventilation- The Decision Making Process


2017 ALS  News You Can Use
2017 Symposium on ALS and NeuroRepair 


Services Offered:

Home & Community Services Team

The Foundation’s Home and Community Services — which include telephone and in-person support, educational resources and patient and family advocates —  are available at no cost to ALS patients, their families  in the Chicagoland area and portions of northwest Indiana.

Learn More

Lois Insolia ALS Clinic

Lois Insolia ALS Clinic

At the multidisciplinary ALS clinic, trained specialists use a team approach to provide comprehensive treatment. They are dedicated to the total care and support of people with ALS, their families and caregivers. During a visit, patients meet with several members of the team, and each provides input regarding assessment, care planning, education and other health care needs.

Learn More

National ALS Registry

National ALS Registry

The Les Turner ALS Foundation is a partner with the National ALS Registry, a program to collect, manage and analyze data about people with ALS and to provide clinical trial information to people living with ALS. It is important to include as many people with the disease as possible to get the most accurate information. Be part of changing the future of ALS.

Learn More

Hope and help for people with ALS.

Your contribution helps support the vast majority of the Chicagoland ALS population.