Public Release: 

Wake Forest University School Of Medicine Receives $1.9 Million To Continue Work With Adult Day Centers Nationwide

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- In an effort to improve quality of services, increase the use of adult day centers, and assist in the development of start-up ventures, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine a $1.9 million grant to launch a national technical assistance program to help move the field of adult day services forward.

Since 1987, the Foundation has been part of the evolution of adult day services with the creation of the first national demonstration program, the Dementia Care and Respite Services Program (1988-1992), under the direction of Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Working with 17 adult day programs in 13 states, the program showed that adult day centers could effectively care for people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers in the community and could be financially viable at the same time.

This success led to the creation of Partners in Caregiving: The Dementia Services Program (1992-1997), also under the direction of the school of medicine. With 50 sites in 30 states and the District of Columbia, this replication program continued to demonstrate that adult day centers can be a viable alternative to nursing home placement.

The new initiative will take the 10 years of lessons learned from the two earlier programs, and disseminate the knowledge as widely as possible through:

  • Mobile adult day services colleges -- intensive 3-day training sessions in at least 10 to 15 states.
  • A network of teaching day centers -- to offer experiential training at model adult day centers across the country.
  • A toll-free hotline -- to provide telephone assistance to start-up or existing centers.
  • Web site development -- for information sharing and interactive questions and answers.
  • A national publication -- to keep centers up to date on developments in the field.
  • National presentations -- to encourage more interest in start-up ventures.
This two and one half-year national initiative will be led by Burton V. Reifler, M.D., M.P.H, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He was program director of the two previous foundation programs as well.

"We are very pleased and excited that the foundation has chosen to continue to invest in the growth and development of adult day centers -- a practical and appealing part of the solution to long-term care needs," Reifler said. "We look forward to the day when adult day centers are thought of immediately by families in need and every community has them."

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It became a national institution in 1972 with receipt of a bequest from the industrialist whose name it bears, and has since made more than $2.6 billion in grants.

The foundation concentrates its grantmaking in three goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost, to improve the way services are organized and provided to people with chronic health conditions, and to reduce the personal, social, and economic harm caused by substance abuse -- tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.

For More Information, Contact: Nancy Cox, Partners in Caregiving, National Program Office, (336) 716-4941, or Jim Steele, Robert Conn or Mark Wright at the Office of Public Relations and Marketing (336) 716-4587.

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