Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center Receives $7.8 million in Federal Funds
Successful brain care model to be expanded to Wishard’s community health centers
CONTACT: Michelle O’Keefe
Indianapolis, June 21, 2012 – A $7.8 million Health Care Innovation Award will allow
Wishard Health Services to expand the Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center to 10 Indianapolis
community health centers. Created four years ago as a first-of-its-kind-facility that combines the
research lab and doctor’s office into one center, the Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center has
seen reductions of 45 percent in hospital emergency department visits and 54 percent in
hospitalization stays compared to similar patients not seen in the center.
“This grant will further improve the quality and lower the cost of care for one of the most
vulnerable populations we serve,” said Dr. Boustani, medical director of the Wishard Healthy
Aging Brain Center and associate director of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.
The Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center extends the definition of a patient to include
family members who enable cognitively impaired individuals to live in the community rather than
nursing facilities. Physicians, nurses, social workers and other staff members work closely with
both the older adult and family caregivers in the exam room and in the home, as well as over the
phone and via e-mail, to deliver care and improve both brain and physical health.
Results show that patients treated utilizing the brain care model at Wishard have fewer
behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia after one year than they did at onset of
treatment, according to Dr. Boustani, who is also an associate professor of medicine at the
Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief investigator.
“We are grateful to Dr. Boustani and his team for their presence at Wishard and their
thoughtful development and execution of this groundbreaking approach to care,” said Lee Livin,
chief financial officer for Wishard Health Services, who worked with Dr. Boustani to establish the
Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center and will serve as co-director of this Aging Brain Care model
expansion. “This is a terrific example of how Wishard’s longstanding partnership with the
Regenstrief Institute, widely recognized as a national model for health care innovation, directly
benefits the patients we serve.”
Partners in the CMS-supported project, in addition to Wishard and Regenstrief, are the IU
Center for Aging Research, Geriatrics Program of the IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis
Discovery Network for Dementia, Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, IU School
of Medicine Simulation Center and the Indiana Network for Patient Care.
“The IU School of Medicine is delighted to learn of the Health Care Innovation Award to
Dr. Boustani," said Dr. David Wilkes, executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU
School of Medicine and the August M. Watanabe Professor of Medical Research. "This award is
testament to his outstanding expertise in health care innovation and implementation science.
Furthermore, this will leverage our partners in health care delivery at Wishard Hospital, IU Health
and the Regenstrief Institute, amongst others. We are confident that patient care will benefit
greatly due to studies supported by this award.”
Over the three-year period of CMS support, it is estimated that 25 jobs will be created for
positions including advanced practice care coordinators, nurses, medical care coordinators’
assistants, social workers and a medical director.
The Wishard Healthy Aging Brain Center draws referrals from across the United States
and has provided care for more than 1,000 patients. In May 2012, it was announced that the
Senior Health Implementation Center at the Regenstrief Institute would broadly disseminate the
groundbreaking brain care model tools developed at Wishard to providers throughout the country,
including a how-to manual for clinicians, a dementia symptoms monitor and a resource handbook
for caregivers, as well as provide onsite training.