UH Foley ElderHealth Center Care Model

The Foley ElderHealth Center was developed to address the needs of the elderly. It provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation of elderly persons with physical, psychological, and social problems, with a strong emphasis on cognitive function and specific ability to carry out the activities of daily living.

Making a difference in multiple ways

Founded in 1987, the University Foley Elderhealth Center has been the main clinical center at University Hospitals for the Neurological and Geriatric evaluation of individuals affected by disorders or memory and cognition. Examples of these conditions include Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Frontotemporal disorders, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Vascular dementia and Dementias associated with Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and many other conditions.

In 2011, the Memory and Cognition center of the Neurological Institute was renamed the Brain Health and Memory Center in recognition of the need to apply a trans-disciplinary and intergenerational Brain Health model where the patient, family and health care team partner to promote quality of life and Brain Health across the lifespan.

  1. The care model at the Elderhealth Center is a multi-disciplinary care model, where nurses, social workers and physicians collaborate to provide multi-dimensional care. An initial visit is a two-hour appointment where the patient and family meet with our team for diagnostic evaluation. Following that, a second appointment is where all stakeholders meet in a Summary Conference to discuss diagnosis and treatments, and discussion of available community resources.

    Patients are then seen in a continuing care model, now spanning the ElderHealth Center and the NI offices at the Kathy Risman Pavilion of the Ahuja Medical Center, and the Movement disorder center located at University Suburban Health Center.

  2. Care at the Brain Health Center is not limited to available therapeutics in the conventional sense. The care model includes programs and services of the Brain Health and Memory Center of the UH Neurological Institute that research new care models, investigate new therapeutics and provide family support.
    1. Brain Health and Wellness outpatient program Dr. Peter Whitehouse directs this program at the Ahuja Medical Center. We are moving from a “disease” model of care into “brain health” model. Dr. Whitehouse has pioneered intergenerational learning and studied the effects of social engagement upon the course of dementia. Harnessing this new model, along with new ways of interacting with via ultra high-speed internet connections and interactive software programs, is bringing new ways of caring for older people and those dementia.
    2. Clinical trials Program Dr. Alan Lerner leads a team of physicians, nurses and research coordinators, working with many other departments throughout the Medical Center, and academic medical centers throughout the United States to bring clinical studies of new therapies, and studies to gain insights into Alzheimer’s disease to UHCMC. Over 25 clinical trials related to Alzheimer’s disease have been performed at UH since 1991.
      1. Current Clinical Trials at the Brain Health and Memory Center (as of October 2013)
        1. Nerve Growth Factor Gene therapy (Randomized, Controlled Study Evaluating CERE-110 in Subjects With Mild to Moderate Alzheimer's Disease)
        2. Resveratrol for Alzheimer’s disease
        3. Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative
        4. Cataract removal and Alzheimer’s disease
        5. Home-Based Assessment for Alzheimer Disease Prevention
        6. Open label isotretinoin fro the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease
        7. Safety and Efficacy Study Evaluating TRx0237 in Subjects With Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD)
        8. Systolic Pressure Reduction Intervention Trial (SPRINT)
      2. Upcoming Clinical Studies
        1. SNIFF – Study of Nasal Insulin for Forgetting
        2. Anti-Amyloid drug for treatment of Asymptomatic Alzheimer’s disease
    3. Caregiver Education
      1. The Savvy Caregiver Program is a Psychoeducational program training family caregivers in the basic knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to handle the challenges of caring for a family member with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. It has been led by Marianne Saunders, RN and has been offered free to groups of caregivers for people with dementia since 2010, and has been exceptionally well received.
      2. Frontotemporal disorders Support Group is co-sponsored with the Cleveland chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. It meets monthly and serves family members of patients with the diverse conditions known as Frontotemporal disorders (including Pick’s disease, behavioral variant Frontotemporal dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Corticobasal degeneration, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
      3. Community Programs presented by the Brain Health and Memory Center have included the “Alzheimer stories” presented at Cleveland’s Severance Hall in November 2011; “Keeping the Golden Years Golden” in Geneva, OH in May 2011, and “Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies” in east Cleveland OH in May 2010.
    4. Medical Education
      1. A National Conference on October 25-26, 2013 entitled “From Neurodegeneration to Brain Health: An Integrated Approach” featured keynote talks by Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner, MD, and Potamkin award winner Karen Duff, PhD.
      2. An entire issue of the Neurological Institute Journal in Summer 2012 was devoted to research in Brain health at UHCMC and CWRU
      3. Physicians training in Neurology, Geriatrics, Family Medicine and Geriatric Psychiatry, and Medical students obtain part of their clinical training at the University ElderHealth Center. The Brain Health and Memory Center sponsors a one-two year fellowship in Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry fellowship with the goal of training future academic physician-scientists likely to make significant contributions to care of people with Dementia.

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