The Minneapolis-based Robina Foundation has announced a $9.6 million grant to the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation to study a new model of care for improving the quality of life of elderly patients, their families, and caregivers.
Phase one of the Late Life Supportive Care study will be conducted at Abbott Northwestern Hospital — a facility in the Allina Hospitals & Clinics nonprofit healthcare network — and the Augustana Care and Walker Methodist senior care facilities. The model under study aims to provide patients and families with around-the-clock access to an interdisciplinary team, including a primary care provider, a supportive care nurse, a social worker/family counselor, and other clinical experts.
Researchers plan to design and build the Late Life Supportive Care model during 2012, begin enrolling patients in 2013, and publish phase-one results by the end of 2014. The study will focus on between four hundred and five hundred patients age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease, stage III and IV cancer, or heart failure who live in the Twin Cities area.
"We hope this model of care will do two important things," said Eric Anderson, medical director of Allina's Palliative Care Services. "First, it will proactively reach out to patients and families who could benefit. And second, it will let the person's own goals guide their care. We know the goals will be both medical and non-medical. Engaging the family and community around that individual will be key to meeting their non-medical goals."