Alzheimer's is topic of workshop

LYNWOOD - St. Francis Medical Center (SFMC) is presenting "Improving Recognition of Alzheimer's and Other Dementia", a continuing medical education (CME) program on Feb. 26, from 8:00 - 12:30 p.m. in the SFMC Patient Tower Auditorium.This CME program introduces strategies that physicians and their clinical practices can implement to facilitate the recognition of Alzheimer's Disease and other dementias, and improve communication with and treatment of patients identified with these illnesses. "The earlier we can diagnose patients with Alzheimer's, the sooner we can begin the appropriate treatment," stated Harding Young, MD, medical director of the Skilled Nursing Facility at St. Francis Medical Center and moderator for the presentation. "Early recognition enables us to work closely with the patient and family members to help them understand the effects of Alzheimer's," Young continued. "By getting their input and involvement early on, we can determine a course of care and lifestyle changes that can help lessen the impact of the disease's symptoms." Primary care physicians, geriatricians, neurologists, psychologists and other health care professionals interested in treating dementias are invited to attend the CME program. The session will address practical and accurate diagnosis, the course of cognitive decline, medication therapies, management of behavioral symptoms, recommended lifestyle modifications, and overcoming language and cultural barriers in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Physicians in attendance can claim up to 4 hours of Category I CME credit. Presenters include Carmen Gonzales-Nate, MD, associate clinical professor, School of Pharmacy, Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California, and medical director of Partial Hospitalization and the Intensive Outpatient Program at St. Francis Medical Center; Mario Mendez, MD, PhD, behavioral neurologist, director of the Neurobehavioral Unit at the VA, Greater Los Angeles, and professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at UCLA; and Janet Morris, attorney and Long Term Care project director at Bet Tzedek legal services, who advises the State of California Alzheimer's Guidelines Committee on elder legal issues and serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Alzheimer's Association. As a patient-and-family-centered care hospital, St. Francis Medical Center is integrating the patient and family perspective into the CME program. It will feature a testimonial from Gilda Acosta, director of Healthy Community Initiatives at SFMC and a community member, who is the primary caregiver for her mother who has Alzheimer's. The presentation is supported through pooled-funded education grants from Pfizer and Forest Pharmaceuticals to the Physicians' Institute for Excellence in Medicine and the American Academy of Physician Education. As an extension of this CME program offered to health care professionals, SFMC will be hosting a senior health fair for the community in May. Seniors, family members, caregivers and all residents interested in learning more about senior health issues and wellness will be encouraged to attend. The fair will include free health screenings, educational sessions on Alzheimer's and dementias, medication and overmedication awareness, senior safety, diet and fitness, and caregiver support. To learn more about this CME program and other St. Francis Medical Center Continuing Medical Education programs, please contact Katie Love in Medical Staff Services at (310) 900-8662.

********** Published: February 17, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 44