(Oakmont, PA) – February 18, 2022 – Presbyterian SeniorCare Network was pleased to host State Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso and other partners on February 17, 2022 to celebrate a new law that will lead to earlier diagnoses of cognitive diseases.
The Early Detection and Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or a Related Disorder Act aims to lead to earlier diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and related dementias. Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law on Feb. 9 after unanimous approval in the state House and Senate.
In his welcome remarks, Jim Pieffer, President and CEO of Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, cited our 30-year tradition of innovation in dementia care. This includes the 1991 opening of Woodside Place, the first care community of its kind to specialize in meeting the physical, mental and social needs of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Today, the Network’s Woodside philosophy to care for individuals living with dementia has been replicated more than 100 times by senior living communities nationally and internationally, and is a foundational element of Presbyterian SeniorCare Network’s Dementia Care Center of Excellence.
“And we continue to innovate with our recently created Dementia360 program,” Jim said, noting it is one of the country’s first in-home care coordination programs designed specifically for family caregivers and individuals living with dementia.
Rep. DelRosso said she is excited that her first bill will have an impact on so many.
“I can’t thank everyone enough who had a hand in getting this legislation across the finish line enough,” said Lewis DelRosso. “This was the first bill I’ve authored that was signed into law and is something that will benefit everyone across the Commonwealth. We all know someone who is affected by either Alzheimer’s, Dementia or another cognitive disorder.”
“Alzheimer’s disease is a true public health crisis that extracts incredible costs financially, emotionally and personally for millions of Pennsylvanians,” said Clayton Jacobs, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter. “This legislation helps improve the complicated and often difficult process to receive an accurate diagnosis by empowering families and supporting a primary care workforce which has faced incredible challenges these past few years. We are thankful for Rep. Lewis DelRosso’s leadership and for the opportunity to work with the administration and Pennsylvania’s health care systems on implementing these changes to benefit all Pennsylvanians.”
“UPMC Senior Services is fully supportive of this legislation,” said April Kane, project director. “We encourage the Department of Health to utilize experts from our health system and others across the state to collaborate with the Alzheimer’s Association to build a toolkit that can be the gold standard for early detection, diagnosis and care planning to support primary care physicians and advanced practice providers in the community.”
“This legislation helps strengthens the capabilities of our primary care work force – the physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who are at the front line of medical care,” said Dr. David Nace, chief of Medical Affairs of UPMC Senior Communities, and clinical chief of Geriatric Medicine at University of Pittsburgh. “By providing education, disseminating tools and linking to resources, we will increase the ability to detect and assist those impacted by this disease. We will improve not only the quality of care provided, but ensure greater access to care.”
“This is such an important health issue for the patient population we serve at Allegheny Health Network, and for all of Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Vicenta Gaspar-Yoo, president of Allegheny Health Network Allegheny Valley Hospital. “The toolkits created by this early-detection law will help us to more proactively diagnose patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders, and ultimately that will lead to earlier intervention, better care management and more positive outcomes for patients and families.”
From left: Jim Pieffer, President & CEO, Presbyterian SeniorCare Network; Clayton Jacobs, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Greater PA Chapter; Dr. Vicenta Gaspar-Yoo, president of Allegheny Health Network Allegheny Valley Hospital, State Rep. Carrie Lewis DelRosso; April Kane, project director UPMC Senior Services; and Dr. David Nace, chief of Medical Affairs, UPMC Senior Communities & clinical chief of Geriatric Medicine at University of Pittsburgh.