The Coastal Star

Health Notes: Grant enables FAU researchers to focus on dementia prevention

Catherine Robson, a nurse practitioner at FAU, observes as Dr. James Galvin administers a videonystagmography (VNG) test, which measures eye movements and is used as an early biomarker sign of Parkinson’s disease and neurodegeneration. Photo provided

By Christine Davis

Is it possible to prevent dementia from happening in the first place? Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine just got a $1 million grant from the Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation for a Dementia Prevention Initiative to find out. The grant will launch the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health, which will use a personalized approach and precision medicine to reduce risk.
The program was developed by neuroscientist James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., an expert on Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He’s associate dean for clinical research in the university’s College of Medicine. This center is one of a few in the world to focus on dementia prevention, and the only one that uses Galvin’s protocol.
Galvin’s research has focused on community-based assessment of older adults from diverse backgrounds to examine the impact of physical, mental and emotional health, lifestyle, race, culture, education and socioeconomic status on cognitive performance.
 His team identified nine risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, obesity, low mental activities, decreased social engagement, low muscle mass and physical activities, poor diet and disrupted sleep. An estimated 40 million to 50 million Americans have at least one of these risk factors.
 “Up to 30 percent of Alzheimer’s disease cases may be prevented through modification of risk factors and behavioral changes to mitigate the impact of those risk factors that are not modifiable, like age and family history, and postmortem studies confirm this,” Galvin says.
The project will establish a database for researchers around the world.
“If we could prevent or even delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases by just five years in South Florida alone, we would reduce the number of cases by 50 percent, which would spare 250,000 people from suffering from this devastating disease that impacts the individual, the family, the caregiver and the community,” said Stephen G. Mehallis, president of the Harry T. Mangurian Jr. Foundation.
By the year 2050, an estimated 16 million Americans and 60 million people worldwide will be affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. By age 85, there is a 42 percent risk of an individual developing them. Nationally, if the onset can be delayed by five years, there would be about 5.7 million fewer cases, with family savings approaching $87 billion, and social savings approaching $367 billion.
Nurses like working at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. At least that’s what they said in reviews for, a career site for nurses that, in July, recognized the hospital as one of the best for nurses to work in Florida.
Reviewers cited teamwork, focus on patient satisfaction and friendly open-door policy as the basis for the 4.3-star rating, with 92 percent of the nurses surveyed recommending the hospital as an employer. To see how other Florida hospitals ranked in the survey, see best-hospitals-florida/
For all of Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s reviews, see the facility page on

Speaking of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, congratulations are in order. The hospital celebrated its 50th birthday on July 17. The hospital was born out of tragedy in 1967, when its founder Gloria Drummond and other residents rallied to provide the city with a hospital. In celebration, the cafeteria and bistro featured special menu items with 1967 prices, top music hits from the year and groovy decorations.
In related news, officials at Boca Raton Regional Hospital are exploring the possibility of establishing a partnership with another health-care provider to accelerate and elevate the hospital’s position as an academic regional referral medical center.
Hospital CEO Jerry Fedele says forming a strategic partnership will enhance the hospital’s ability to develop nationally recognized clinical programs, mitigate the challenges of a stand-alone organization, and have greater access to capital. A steering committee to explore the initiative includes the hospital’s board members, community and medical staff leaders, and volunteers. Dick Schmidt, former board chair, is chairing the steering committee.
“Every hospital or health system in this nation is constantly seeking ways to enhance its capabilities in patient care, strengthen its finances and secure its position in its respective service area,” said Christine E. Lynn, the hospital board’s chair. “We are no different and believe our intent to explore a strategic partnership is a prudent and positive development for the hospital and the communities we serve.”
And the hospital has some good news for women. With GE Healthcare, Boca Raton Regional is the first hospital in the country to install a more comfortable mammography system with new 3-D digital mammography technology, Senographe Pristina. It offers patients a reinvented mammography experience, says Kathy Schilling, MD, medical director at the hospital’s Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute. “It’s a faster and quieter exam with greater comfort and less pain during compression.” The rounded corners of the image detector help reduce patient discomfort under the arms.
Those who suffer from eating disorders will find a new place to go for treatment and referrals. That’s because Marti LaTour, of Gulf Stream, and Michelle Klinedinst, of Singer Island, recently co-founded VIAMAR Health Eating Disorders and Behavioral Health Center in West Palm Beach.
 LaTour brings more than 30 years of experience in business and financial management to the center. Previously, she was vice president of the Florida division of PepsiAmerica. She also served as a vice president wealth adviser at BMO Private Bank and Bernstein Global Wealth Management.
She sits on the boards of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, Economic Council of Palm Beach County, YWCA, Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness and Angel Forum of Florida, among others.
Before moving to South Florida to launch the new center, Klinedinst built operations and clinical programs for Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders in Arizona. She helped create the clinical infrastructure for Eric Clapton’s addiction treatment program, Crossroads Centre, in Antigua, and served as its CEO from 1999 to 2002. For information, call 293-4677 or visit
The South Florida branch of Oasis Senior Advisors, a free community-based referral senior-placement service that serves south Palm Beach County, has been purchased by Candy Cohn.
Cohn has helped people find senior living communities for more than five years through her business, Yaffa Senior Services.
Oasis’ advisers specialize in educating and informing seniors and their families on the distinctions and options offered by assisted living communities, Alzheimer’s care, retirement communities, skilled nursing homes, residential nursing homes, respite services, hospice and dementia care. 
Advisers help clients identify lifestyle preferences and health-care, financial and location needs.
A Delray Beach resident since 2007, Cohn has a background in health-care marketing, including community relations at Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, marketing director for Flexsite Diagnostics, and community relations at the Visiting Nurse Association of Florida. She serves as president of Elder Services Resource Network and participates in the Partnership for Aging, Alzheimer’s Association, Arthritis Foundation and the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce Health Council.

Ribbon Cutting
 Delray Medical Center celebrated its new patient tower, which consists of 96 private patient rooms, a helipad, a parking garage, registration services, cardiovascular clinic, expanded laboratory and advanced imaging technology. Delray Medical Center is at 5352 Linton Blvd., Delray Beach. ABOVE: Celebrating the hospital’s expansion are (l-r) Dian Adams, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, Tenet Healthcare; Eric Evans, Tenet’s president of hospital operations; Mark Bryan, CEO, Delray Medical Center (with scissors); Marsha Powers, CEO of Eastern Region, Coastal Division of Tenet Healthcare; Trevor Fetter, Tenet chairman and CEO; and Dr. Octavio Diaz, Tenet’s chief medical officer.  Jerry Lower/The Coastal Star

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