Covering the Bases

New clinic specializes in primary care for patients with dementia

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, in partnership with the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, has launched Emory’s first nurse-led medical clinic.

The brainchild of Carolyn Clevenger, assistant dean for MSN Education, and Janet Cellar, clinical nurse specialist and administrator for the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC), the Integrated Memory CareClinic is the nation’s only practice specializing in primary care for people living with dementia.

The idea for the clinic developed through Clevenger’s work with Cellar at the ADRC, where a collaborative, team-based approach helps patients and families form close bonds with their physicians and advanced-practicenurses as they undergo disease treatment and management. But patients also came to the center with more basic primary care needs.

“What families told us they needed was dementia-sensitive primary care,” says Clevenger. “Everything from pneumonia vaccines, mammograms, or diabetes management needs to be addressed through the lens of the fact that the person has a degenerative illness.”

The Integrated Memory Care Clinic is designed to offer a nurse-led model that gives consumers better access to high-quality primary care, emphasizing core components including availability, patient and family relationships with a consistent practitioner, comprehensive care, and coordination among specialists and community providers.

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