Over the next five years, the University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) www.urmc.rochester.edu Office for Aging Research and Health Services (OARHS) will receive $2.35 million from the New York State Department of Health to establish a Finger Lakes Center for Excellence in Alzheimer’s disease (FLCEAD).
The project will create an accessible integrated system where patients and families across the Finger Lakes region can receive comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease care. These groups will include African Americans, Latinos, individuals in underserved rural and urban areas, people whose primary language is not English, as well as individuals at or below the poverty level.
OARHS www.urmc.rochester.edu/aging-research-health-services.aspx oversees two programs that will play a central role in the initiative. The URMC Memory Care Program www.urmc.rochester.edu/memory-care-program.aspx and a telehealth program called “Geriatric Mental Health (GEMH) www.urmc.rochester.edu/project-echo.aspx provides the ECHO model of care developed at the University of New Mexico
ECHO GEMH supports geriatric mental health and dementia care delivered by rural primary care practices in the state. GEMH is able to provide consultations and support in geriatrics and dementia/Alzheimer’s disease to primary care practices, long-term care facilities, and providers across Upstate New York.
GEMH will use simple widely available and inexpensive web-based video conferencing technologies to remove geographic barriers. The goal of ECHO GEMH is to establish TeleECHO clinics to connect geriatric specialist team members in “hub and spoke” rural primary care practice sites using video conferencing.
The program will work with four other partnering organizations to include the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, www.flhsa.org, the Rochester/Finger Lakes Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org/rochesterny, the newly funded HRSA Finger Lakes Geriatric Education Center www.urmc.rochester.edu/medicine/geriatrics/flgec.aspx, and Lifespan www.lifespan-network.org.