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SIU Medicine, Memorial to Partner on Alzheimer’s Center to Expand Services, Research

October 1, 2018
SIU Medicine’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders is renewing its commitment to Springfield area residents and its 93-county service region with a new partner: Memorial Medical Center. The team will provide care beyond the medical center by offering community-based resources, trainings, research opportunities and support groups.
SIU Medicine and Memorial Medical Center will formally announce the partnership with a reception and ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation, 228 W. Miller St., Springfield. 
SIU’s state-designated Alzheimer’s center, part of the Neuroscience Institute at SIU Medicine, serves more than 4,000 Illinoisans each year through its Springfield clinic and Aging and Memory Network, a community of nearly three dozen health care providers who assess and manage patients with dementia as recommended by SIU Medicine. Network sites include Rockford, Peoria, Belleville, Hillsboro, Mount Vernon, Effingham and Galesburg.
As part of the new partnership, the center will restore its biannual Memory Loss Conference for caregivers and health care professionals and expand research and programming for persons with dementia, their family and caregivers. Currently, the center offers eight programs, including Art Express, Early Stage Memory Loss Group, Minds in Motion, TimeSlips, Savvy Caregiver, Stepping Up, Opening Minds through Art, and Music and MemoryTM.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that robs individuals of their memories and their personalities as well as their physical health and well-being,” said SIU Neuroscience Institute’s Executive Director James Gilchrist, MD. “While there is presently no cure, SIU Medicine and Memorial Medical Center can provide the best care and resources for our patients, their families and their caregivers.” 
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million.
"Alzheimer's disease takes a terrible toll not only on patients but also their families and loved ones," said Ed Curtis, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of Memorial Health System. "Memorial Medical Center is delighted to partner with SIU Medicine to help put a dent in this devastating disease."​
The Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders was created in 1987 through state and federal funding. When funding was eliminated in 2015, SIU maintained the program and network through private donations, external grants and support from the School of Medicine.
In June 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved a state plan amendment which provided support for SIU’s state-designated Alzheimer’s Center. Memorial Medical Center will receive the $1.5 million in funding per year to support and expand the Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders. 

Since 1987, SIU Medicine’s Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders has diagnosed, treated and educated Illinois residents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related problems. In the last year, the center, along with its Memory and Aging Network, served more than 4,000 patients and their families. Its four-fold mission is to evaluate and treat patients, conduct innovative research, educate the public and health care providers in rural Illinois and maintain a network of 32 memory and aging sites throughout northern, central and southern Illinois.