UA Dementia Education and Practice Lauded in Commonwealth Fund Report on ‘Transforming Care’ in Aging

dementia careThe University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, UA Center on Aging and Banner Health—are highlighted in a recent Commonwealth Fund report on “Transforming Care – In Focus: Spreading Innovative Approaches to Dementia Care” that was released just prior to the end of 2017.

Commonwealth Fund logoThe report, released Dec. 20, speaks to proactively managing care and integrating psychological and behavioral issues as well as family caregiver support along with community-based support services into these programs.

Dr. Mindy Fain“They outlined our innovative programs for rural and NA/AI (Native American/American Indian) populations, and in home based primary care—and we were in great company,” said Mindy Fain, MD, professor, center co-director, chief of the UA Division of Geriatrics, General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine and the Anne and Alden Hart Endowed Chair in Medicine.

Of the Center on Aging efforts, the report says “community health workers from rural, Spanish-speaking, and tribal communities are trained to engage patients and their families in goals-of-care conversations that recognize different cultural views of dementia.”

Dr. Fain is quoted in the report as saying, “Certain groups… may feel dementia is more of a spiritual journey toward the end of life and only calling it a disease is inappropriate and wrong. If we in health care simply focus on the medical model, we can alienate people who have their own belief systems and different world views.”

She is also currently president of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine and a board member of the Healthcare Transformation Institute.

1-in-10 over age 65 suffer Alzheimer's dementia - graphicAmong other novel dementia care programs cited in the report are Johns Hopkins University’s Maximizing Independence (MIND) at Home Program, Indiana University’s OPTIMISTIC (Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical Quality, and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care) Program, the Eskenazi Health Aging Brain Care Program, NYU Caregiver Intervention, Minneapolis-based Allina Health’s Memory Cafes, UCSF’s Care Ecosystem and UCLA’s Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care.

The report underscores that: “In parts of the country that lack specialized care centers for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, newly diagnosed patients and their loved ones struggle to manage what can be a long, progressive decline. Several innovative dementia care models show how, in the absence of a cure, providers can help patients and family caregivers cope with the physical symptoms of dementia, monitor its effects on other chronic conditions, and offer strategies for behavioral and psychosocial problems.”


“Lo Que Pasa Interviews UA Geriatrician Mindy Fain on Health Care That Hits Home” | Posted Nov. 27, 2017
“UA Center on Aging Joins Nationwide Network For Home-based Primary Care Education” | Posted Aug. 4, 2017
“Commonwealth Fund Report on Home-Based Primary Care Quotes Dr. Mindy Fain” | Posted June 19, 2017

Release Date: 
12/21/2017 - 6:15pm