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Emory’s Integrated Memory Care Clinic receives $1.5 million grant for new model of care
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Tricia Benson
nurses at Emory University

A $1.5 million Reimagining Nursing Initiative grant from the American Nurses Foundation will enable Emory Healthcare’s Integrated Memory Care Clinic to expand its best-in-class primary care for people living with dementia.

The grant was awarded to Carolyn K. Clevenger, a professor in Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and gerontological nurse practitioner, and Deena Gilland, Emory Healthcare's ambulatory practice vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer.

Created in 2015, the Integrated Memory Care Clinic (IMC Clinic) represents an innovative, nurse-led, patient-centered medical home that provides both memory and primary care for people living with dementia and their care partners.  It is a unique “one-stop shop” practice model, recognized nationwide, available only at Emory Healthcare. 

The IMC in Community program includes dementia-sensitive primary care provided within participants’ senior living communities. The model incorporates occupational therapists and dementia care assistants to maintain participants’ independence for as long as possible. The practice also includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and clinical social workers to support participants and their care partners.

“Despite the considerable successes of the IMC Clinic, we have seen a critical gap in the continuum of care for our clients,” says Clevenger, clinical director of the IMC Clinic. “The grant from the American Nurses Foundation will enable us to pilot an expansion of our successful IMC’s comprehensive care model into a new home-based setting, senior living communities.” 

Gilland adds, “Expanding this nurse-led new care model fully supports the National Academy of Medicine’s report ‘The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity’ that emphasizes how nurses can reduce health disparities, promote equity and maintain patient and family-focused care.”

Clevenger and Gilland’s proposal, “Integrated Memory Care in Community (IMCiC): A Bold Model Transforming Directly Reimbursed Nurse-led Primary Care for Older Adults Living with Dementia,” was in collaboration with Emory Healthcare. Selected from over 350 applicants, the team presented an idea that leans into nurses’ knowledge and expertise to develop solutions allowing them to work more effectively in various care settings.

The American Nurses Foundation grant will test payment strategies that flow directly to nurses and will be transferrable to many other patient populations. The Reimagining Nursing Initiative elevates the nursing profession’s capability to match the future health demands by investing in opportunities for transformative change that lie at the intersection of education, regulation and practice. 

About the American Nurses Foundation
American Nurses Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association (ANA), with the mission to transform the nation’s health through the power of nursing. The Foundation supports research, education and scholarships, which improve health, wellness and patient care. For more information visit

About Carolyn K. Clevenger
Carolyn K. Clevenger, DNP, RN, GNP-BC, AGPCNP-BC, FAANP, FGSA, FAAN, is associate dean for transformative clinical practice with oversight responsibility for the Office of Clinical Affairs, the Emory Nursing Experience, and the Integrated Memory Care programs at the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing.  She is the clinical director of the nurse-led, patient-centered medical home for people living with dementia, the Integrated Memory Care Clinic.  

About Deena Gilland
Deena Gilland DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN is the vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer of Emory Healthcare's Ambulatory Practice and an instructor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University.  She has worked to establish a national model and structure for nursing practice in an ambulatory care setting. Gilland currently serves on the board of directors as president for the American Academy of Ambulatory Nurses.

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