Hoag's Orange County Vital Aging Program Data Presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease

Categories: Press Room

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hoag's Orange County Vital Aging Program Data Presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease

Paris, France – Dr. William Shankle MS, MD, FACP, program director, Memory and Cognitive Disorders, of Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI) presented Orange County Vital Aging Program (OCVAP) data today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease (ICAD) in Paris, France.

The presentation highlighted 12-month results of the recently-developed Orange County Vital Aging Program, a community-wide, multi-disciplinary program dedicated to raising education awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD). This is the first implementation of the OCVAP concept put together by an international consortium of scientific leaders in the field of Alzheimer's disease.

“Changing the proactive approach of the medical and non-medical communities to ADRD healthcare is a substantial yet achievable challenge, and comprehensive education is the first step,” said Dr. Shankle. “The 12-month results of the Orange County Vital Aging Program in the local community demonstrate the power of public and physician education and may provide a replicable model for other communities nationwide.”

Within the 12 months of the program’s implementation (as of 12/31/2010), HNI held 12 educational activities that gathered a total of 870 attendees. Website traffic and access of the online self-assessment tool attracted nearly 1,200 unique visitors. The program’s community screening services drew 667 participants, in which professionals were able to find 24% prevalence of mild cognitive impairment (consistent with national estimates).

The inspiration behind the OCVAP was based on a roadmap initially developed in 2007 by the Leon Thal Symposium, an international panel of experts dedicated to preventing Alzheimer’s disease by year 2020. The symposium experts envisioned a broad coordination of national and local resources focused on managing risk factors, monitoring cognition and function, and enabling early diagnosis and treatment.

Aligned with this vision, the OCVAP was developed as a community-based education program that provides local residents with the necessary tools to assess risk factors, functional capacity and cognition. This effort has evolved into a coordinated community program that is reaching the at-risk population, medical and non-medical professionals, institutions, community organizations and public advocates.

“As the Orange County Vital Aging Program continues to progress and community participation increases, the importance of coordinating follow-up with participants in need of further counsel is imperative,” Dr. Shankle states. “We must continue to be cognizant of the needs of community physicians, and OCVAP addresses these needs through the development of clinical guidelines and links to physician support services and resources.”

The poster presentation is entitled “Orange County Vital Aging Program: A Community-Based Approach to Reduce Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Health Care Resources.”

About the Orange County Vital Aging Program

The Orange County Vital Aging Program (OCVAP), launched by Hoag Neurosciences Institute in July 2010, is a community program promoting early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) through education, proactive tracking and timely intervention against memory loss and cognitive decline. The OCVAP engages public and professional resources to increase public knowledge about ADRD, develop strategies to reduce risk for these conditions, and study and monitor healthy cognitive aging, as well as detect cognitive impairment due to ADRD early, when it is most treatable. The OCVAP is supported by a grant to Hoag Neurosciences Institute from the UniHealth Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization whose mission is to support and facilitate activities that significantly improve the health and well being of individuals and communities within its service area. For more information, visit OCVitalAging.org .

About Hoag Neurosciences Institute (HNI)

Hoag Neurosciences Institute (hoag.org/neurosciences) coordinates clinical neuroscience specialists, dedicated facilities and the latest technology to provide individualized patient management under the following programs: Memory and Cognitive Disorders, Brain Tumors, Stroke, Epilepsy, Pain, Movement Disorders, and Neurobehavioral Disorders. HNI also houses the Multiple Sclerosis, Voice and Swallowing, and Sleep Centers and is becoming a regional referral center for all brain and spinal disorders.

About Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian (hoag.org ) is a 498-bed, non-profit, acute care hospital located in Newport Beach, Calif. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission and designated as a Magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), Hoag offers a comprehensive mix of health care services, including Centers of Excellence in neurosciences (HNI), cancer, heart and vascular, orthopedics and women’s health. National Research Corporation has endorsed Hoag as Orange County’s most preferred hospital for the past 14 consecutive years. And for an unprecedented 14 years, residents of Orange County have chosen Hoag as the county’s best hospital in a local newspaper survey. In order to meet the growing needs of Irvine and South County residents, Hoag will be opening an Irvine campus. Hoag continues to offer additional services to the community through the seven Hoag Health Centers located throughout Orange County.