The Boston Globe featured an Eskenazi Health program led by Regenstrief Research Scientist Malaz Boustani, M.D., in an article describing the launch of a new Massachusetts General Hospital program to support primary care physicians in caring for older patients living with dementia.
The program is similar to the one at Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation, led by Dr. Boustani, who is also the director for Regenstrief’s Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science.
The collaborative dementia care program was started by Eskenazi more than a decade ago. The system trains and employs community health workers who meet with families of people with dementia. The workers help those families address difficulties, actively work to reduce stress and keep track of how the families are functioning.
Massachusetts General Hospital is launching a pilot program where a dementia care team will be embedded in primary care practices at the hospital. The specialists and social workers can help those doctors when they suspect one of their patients may have dementia.
A recent survey by the Alzheimer’s Association® found that less than half of physicians reported assessing their older patients for cognitive impairment.
“I feel their pain. The primary care doctors, they don’t have the resources, they don’t have the time,” Dr. Boustani told the Globe. He believes that programs like the one at Eskenazi can lead to better health and quality of life for people with dementia and their families.
Dr. Boustani also is a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine and the director for the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, a collaborative effort of Regenstrief, IU School of Medicine and Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute.