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Alzheimer's Association and St. Luke's Hospital Launch Program to Enhance Care for Families Living with Alzheimer's Disease

Onsite social worker allows for more timely connection with critical support services
ST. LOUIS , May 1, 2017

The Alzheimer's Association is partnering with the Orthwein Brain and Spine Center at St. Luke's Hospital on a program which enables physicians to provide enhanced care to their patients through expedited engagement with a social worker for support, education and connection to local resources. 

Through the Alzheimer's Care Navigation program, patients of the Orthwein Brain and Spine Center at St. Luke's who are diagnosed with dementia and their caregivers receive a complimentary care and planning consultation with an onsite social worker. 

"What's key about this partnership with St. Luke's is the timely engagement with support and services," said Stephanie Rohlfs-Young, Vice President of Programs for the Alzheimer's Association St. Louis. "Too often in the U.S., when individuals and families receive an Alzheimer's diagnosis, they don't know where to turn for support. Even when a healthcare professional recommends they contact the Association, it takes on average, more than two years for families to voluntarily connect with us." 

Through the Alzheimer's Care Navigation program which launched at St. Luke's on March 22, the dedicated social worker proactively reaches out to individuals and their families within two weeks of diagnosis. And, in some cases, there is an opportunity for immediate connection, as the social worker's office is located in the suite with the neurologists of the Orthwein Brain and Spine Center at St. Luke's. The social worker is specially trained to educate families on Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia and to assist with financial planning and long term care management. 

Funding for the Alzheimer's Care Navigation program comes from donor Joanne Parrish Knight. Knight, a strong supporter and former board member of both the Alzheimer's Association and St. Luke's Hospital, has provided funding and leadership on several initiatives aimed at improving care and support for families living with Alzheimer's disease. 

"We are grateful to Mrs. Knight for her generosity in facilitating this partnership with the Alzheimer's Association," said Todd Silverman, MD, St. Luke's Hospital Chief of Neurology. "The Care Navigation program complements what we do as neurologists and gives us the opportunity to quickly enhance the quality of life for patients and their caregivers during what is always a very challenging time for families." 

For more information on the Alzheimer's Care Navigation program offered at the Orthwein Brain and Spine Center at St. Luke's Hospital, call 636-685-7745. 

About St. Luke's Hospital:
St. Luke's Hospital is an independent, nonprofit healthcare provider committed to improving the quality of life for its patients and the community. In its 150-year history, St. Luke's has grown from a single hospital location to an advanced network of care. It provides personalized healthcare services in over 60 specialty areas at its 493-bed hospital in Chesterfield, Mo. and offers 25 other locations across the greater St. Louis area, bringing quality healthcare services close to home. St. Luke's is nationally-recognized for quality care and consistently earns high patient satisfaction scores. In addition, St. Luke's is the exclusive St. Louis affiliate of the nation's No. 1 heart hospital, Cleveland Clinic's Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. For more information, visit stlukes-stl.com/newsroom

About the Alzheimer's Association:
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. The St. Louis Chapter, a United Way member agency, serves 38 counties in eastern Missouri and western Illinois, providing comprehensive care and support programs. The Association's mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For information and support 24/7, call the Alzheimer's Association helpline - 800.272.3900 or visit www.alz.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Cassandra Novy
Media Relations Specialist
314-576-2428 (office)
314-823-1874 (pager)
cassandra.novy@stlukes-stl.com 

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