Katy Abbott, Ph.D. announced as 2022 Health Care Systems Scholars Program awardee

Professor Katy Abbott, Ph.D., MGS, was recently awarded a grant from the NIA IMPACT Collaboratory as a 2022 Health Care Systems Scholars. This program offers investigators an opportunity to work directly with health care systems interested in improving the care provided to people living with dementia and their care partners.

The goals of the Health Care Systems Scholars Program are to embed investigators in health care systems to:

  • Establish mutually beneficial partnerships to improve the care of people living with dementia and their care partners.
  • Train investigators about health care settings’ needs and how new programs are successfully introduced at all levels of the organization.
  • Engage health care systems in learning more about what it means to conduct ePCTs and provide resources for understanding opportunities for improvement in dementia care or evaluation of related quality improvement projects.
  • Strengthen collaborations between investigators and health care systems that may lead to pilot studies or demonstration projects.

Dr. Abbott will partner with United Church Homes, a 106-year old, nonprofit, national senior living provider that provides services to 5,500+ residents of all faiths in 79 senior living communities based in 14 states and two Native American nations.

As a Health Care Systems Scholar, Abbott will partner with an interdisciplinary team at United Church Homes to enhance her knowledge of nursing home systems and build capacity to conduct an embedded pragmatic clinical trial (ePCT) of the Individualized Positive Psychosocial Intervention (IPPI) program. The IPPI program guides direct care workers as they engage people living with dementia in positive ways that enhance wellbeing and address behavioral responses. Research shows that nursing home residents experience more pleasure, alertness, engagement, and positive verbal behavior with IPPI activities. 

“My goal is that all individuals living with dementia receive preference-based, person-centered care,” Abbott said. “I believe I have a role to play by partnering with providers to co-create efficient processes that can support their efforts to assess, honor, and communicate individual preferences throughout the care delivery process.” 

Together with United Church Homes, Abbott seeks to achieve the following Partnering Goals:

  • Identify potential barriers and facilitators to implementing new initiatives in United Church’s nursing homes;
  • Collaboratively identify IPPI program process and impact outcomes of interest to key stakeholders;
  • Integrate pragmatic process and impact outcome measures into the UCH electronic medical record; and
  • Build a strong foundation of trust and collaboration that can support an IMPACT Collaboratory Pilot grant to conduct a pilot study for an ePCT of the IPPI program in people living with dementia.

Learn more about the IMPACT Collaboratory funding opportunities and general information on their website.