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Did you know... Although they comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, people age 65 and older accounted for 16 percent of suicide deaths in 2004.
Source: CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2005) [accessed January 31 2007]

Our History

1999

The J. B. Fuqua Foundation establishes The Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression at the Wesley Woods Center at Emory University. Dr. William McDonald is named Director and Eve Byrd is named the Associate Director.

2000

A Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist is hired to expand clinical care to Atlanta Assisted Living Facilities (ALF's) and Retirement Communities. Primary Care Initiative: Integrating Mental Health and Primary Care pilot project launched in partnership with National Mental Health Association of Georgia. J.B. Fuqua Foundation approves funding for community education, training and clinical service programs related to the detection and treatment of late-life depression. The Advisory Board is formed.

2001

Fuqua Center Referral Network created; the Referral Network helps older adults in rural communities locate geriatric mental health clinicians practicing in their areas. Eve Byrd chairs the Atlanta Area Aging and Mental Health Task Force. Fuqua Center holds its first statewide training entitled, "Is It Depression? Recognizing Mental Illness in Older Adults and Making the Appropriate Referral" together with The State of Georgia Department of Human Resources/Area Agencies on Aging. Fuqua Center holds its first continuing education program for professionals; "Recognizing and Treating Older Adults’ Depression: A Medical/Social Work Approach," cosponsored by the University of Georgia and Georgia State University Departments of Social Work.

2002

Fuqua Center receives funding from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to teach Community Care Service Program (CCSP) care coordinators how to screen and refer frail older adults living in their homes for depression. Fuqua Center receives funding from Janssen Pharmaceutica to develop a depression/dementia e-learning program.

2003

Fuqua Center/Emory Healthcare Website goes live; website contains referral network, information about educational products, depression screening tools and patient forms. Toll-free Fuqua Center Depression Information line established; line staffed by a nurse from 7am-7pm. A second community-based advanced practice nurse is hired to provide services in assisted living facilities.

2004

Fuqua Center receives additional funding from the Fuqua Foundation through the Wesley Woods Foundation to enhance geriatric psychiatry services in Wesley Woods Towers and Budd Terrace. Fuqua Center receives initial funding from Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Aging to expand the CCSP training project initially funded by AFSP. Dr. McDonald participates in the Blues Brothers panel discussion held at Skyland Trail and the Delta Burke, Go On and Live! Program.

2005

Fuqua Center receives additional funding to expand CCSP training project to an additional 71 counties. Our third advanced practice nurse is hired to expand outpatient and community clinic care services. Fuqua Center provides clinic services in 17 residential facilities. Approximately, 1800 people were reached by Fuqua Center community education activities.

2006

Dr. McDonald named Chief of Geriatric Psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine. Fuqua Center begins offering videoconferencing geriatric psychiatry services statewide through the Georgia Telemedicine Project.

2007

The Fuqua Center begins partnership with The Georgia Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (GAHSA) and The Georgia Institute on Aging to provide training on early detection of depression and other mental illnesses for service coordinators representing approximately 16 retirement communities in Georgia.

2008

The Fuqua Center trains service providers in the PEARLS (Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives for Seniors) model. Dr. McDonald and Eve Byrd present at the AAHSA (American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) in Philadelphia. The Fuqua Center receives funding from the Jesse Parker William Foundation to increase services to frail elderly in assisted living facilities.

2009

The Fuqua Center continues to work closely with aging and housing services organizations to increase community and professional awareness of psychiatric illness in older adults.  In collaboration with DeKalb and Fulton counties, the Fuqua Center participated in the planning and implementation of SPARC events (Sickness Prevention Achieved Through Regional Collaboration) designed to increase the utilization of preventative health care services including immunizations and health screenings by providing these services in the community at locations that are easily accessible to older adults. In collaboration with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Suicide Prevention Division, the Fuqua Center helped to develop an Older Adult Suicide Prevention Plan.  William McDonald, M.D., was appointed as Special Advisor to the Governor for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, working with mental health advocates and providers of services to determine priorities for building a robust network of community mental health services in Georgia. Eve H. Byrd, MSN, MPH,  received the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association Dancing Elephant Award which is given to a person who is not a psychiatrist that has significantly contributed to the delivery of psychiatric services. 

2010

The Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary.  Several events were held to honor the organizations and people whose valued partnerships have enabled the Fuqua Center to succeed in developing a continuum of evidence-based treatment options and clinical services for older adults, in improving access to clinical services for older adults, and in providing of extensive community outreach aimed at educating those who serve older adults.  The celebration can be viewed by clicking on the following site:  www.youtube.com/watch  

 2011

During 2011, the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression continued its work collaborating with other aging service agencies to improve access to mental health services and care for older adults in addition to participating in various activities focused on community education and outreach.  Highlights include:

  • Community Clinics -  Clinical Services were provided in 18 low income facilities including all 11 Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) sites serving seniors and other adults who have a disability.  90 patients were served last year involving close to 200 visits.
  • Atlanta Area Housing for Older Adults with Mental Illness Workgroup -  The Fuqua Center established this workgroup in order to link housing and mental health service providers together to look at Georgia's data on housing for older adults and make policy recommendations for planning for the housing needs of Georgia's older adults with psychiatric illness.  Members inlcude Fuqua Center staff, Aging Services of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Emory University Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Georgia Supportive Housing Association.
  • Life Long Mableton - As part of the Administration on Aging funded project being administered by the Atlanta Regional Commission, The Fuqua Center initiated the Life Long Mableton Mental Health Collaborative consisting of various Mableton area mental health and aging service providers.  In conjunction with the goal of Life Long Communities to expand access to services so people can age in place, the Collaborative held community focus groups to gather input on the needs of the community regarding mental health and the aging population and where to focus on improving services. 
  • Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) - Mental Health First Aid is the help offered to a person developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.  The first aid is given until appropriate treatment and support are received or until the crisis resolves.  The Fuqua Center provided five (5) 2-day training sessions certifying close to 100 people as mental health first aiders including Adult Protective Services (APS) workers and Long term Care Ombudsman who provide services to older adults and to older adult or adults with disabilities living in Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) or other Fulton County affordable housing sites.
  • SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved Through Regional Collaboration) - SPARC is a program for the senior population designed to increase the utilization of preventative health care services by providing the service in the community where it is conveniently located and easily accessible to seniors. In partnership with Fulton County Aging Services,  DeKalb County Senior Services and other health providers, particpated in ten (10) SPARC events in Fulton and DeKalb counties providing depression screenings and education to over 212 older adults during October and November, 2011.
  • In partnership with the Atlanta Area Coalition on Aging and Mental Health (chaired by Fuqua Center) and ARGEC (Atlanta Regional Geriatric Education Center) presented a workshop to over 100 social workers and other clinicians interested in enhancing their knowledge and skills to treat older adults with psychiatric illness.
  • Conducted two (2) Webinars on "Linkages to Resources" for  APS and Ombudsman following MHFA Training.
  • Provided PHQ-9, (Patient Health Questionnaire - a depression screening tool) training to housing providers and service providers.
  • Participated on the planning committee and presented at the 10th Annual Suicide Prevention Conference in Georgia.

2012 

Strategic Planning
Under the leadership of Mark H. Rapaport, MD, Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, work began on a Strategic Plan for the Department.  The 10 Year Vision is to become an innovative global leader in transformative discovery, education and care.  As part of the planning process, William McDonald, M.D., J.B. Fuqua Chair for Late-Life Depression and Frank Brown, M.D. led a Workgroup titled “the Role of Wesley Woods in Transforming Mental Health Care at Emory.  Topics of focus included looking at Geriatric Psychiatry’s System of Care, discussing how to integrate a research component into all we offer, and developing ways to measure outcomes and prove that what we do is effective. 

Coalitions and Collaboration
Partnerships and collaborating with organizations throughout Georgia continues to be one of the key components that drive our work.   Some of the 2012, partnerships include·

  • Georgia Coalition on Older Adults and Mental Health (GCOAMH), whose mission is providing opportunities for private and public professional, consumer and governmental organizations to work together to improve the availability and quality of mental health preventative services, strategies and treatment for older adults in Georgia.  
  • Atlanta Coalition on Aging and Mental Health (AACAMH), a forum for collaboration between mental health and aging services professionals focused on facilitating public education, professional training and advocacy projects aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding aging and mental illness, expanding access to mental health services and resources, and improving quality of mental health programs for older adults.
  • Suicide Prevention Coalition of Georgia, a statewide Coalition that has worked together on suicide prevention efforts since 2002 to impact the crisis of suicide in Georgia.
  • Behavioral Health Services Coalition (BHSC) which provides leadership to improve mental health and addictive disease services in Georgia.
  • Life-Long Mableton Mental Health Collaborative, consisting of various Mableton area mental health and aging service providers focused on identifying mental health service needs of older adults in Mableton that would support their ability to age in place.
  • Atlanta Area Housing for Older Adults with Mental Illness Workgroup - Includes members from the Fuqua Center, Aging Services of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Emory University Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Georgia Supportive Housing Association. Links housing and MH service providers together to look at Georgia’s data on housing for older adults, making policy recommendations for planning for the housing needs of Georgia’s older adults with psychiatric illness.

Community Education Activities
T
he Fuqua Center participated in 55 educational events during 2012 touching over 2,061 people.  Events included Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), talks on mental health and aging at several Mental Health and/or Aging Services related professional conferences as well as to graduate students at Georgia State; depression education and screening at health fairs and SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration) events, and talks on how mood affects health to residents and staff at various affordable housing independent living sites. 

Community Clinics
Outpatient clinical services were provided at 24 affordable and other senior independent living sites including 11 Atlanta Housing Authority (AHA) sites serving seniors and other adults who have a disability. 104 patients (a 13% increase from 2011) received In-home outpatient psychiatric health services provided by an advanced practice nurse or clinical nurse specialist in their apartment or in a private area of the residential setting.  Services included evaluation and screening for depression and other psychiatric illnesses, supportive counseling, medication management, and referral for appropriate treatment and follow-up services.

 Workforce Development
On September 28, 2012, the Atlanta Area Coalition on Aging and Mental Health (AACAMH), chaired by the Fuqua Center, in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Geriatric Education Center (ARGEC), hosted a one day workshop, Capacity to Care: Building Nursing Competency in Geriatric Mental Health Care designed for members of the nursing workforce interested in enhancing their nursing competencies and skills in recognizing signs and symptoms of psychiatric illness in older adults and in providing quality geriatric mental health care in their day to day nursing practice.  Over 81 people attended.  Topics included ●Overview of Aging; What’s Normal, What’s Not; ●Assessment and Diagnosis of Anxiety and Depression in Older Adults; ●Dementia; ●Screening for Dementia and Depression in the Clinical Setting; ●Pharmacology and Older Adults; ●Integrating Care and Elder Law: Working Together to Improve Outcomes

 

Policy and Planning Activities
The Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression continues to take a leadership role bringing issues relevant to older adults and mental health to the policy planning table on both a state and national level.  Georgia projects included being active in the following:

  • Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council (State Block Grant)
  • Georgia Medicaid Redesign Workgroup
  • Housing for Older Adults with Mental Illness White Paper
  • Alzheimer’s Association/ Georgia Division of Aging Grant
  • Facilitated group input/recommendations for the Older Adult Section of “Visions” document for Carter Center DBHDD sponsored Regional Town Hall Meetings

 2013 

Click here for a link to 2013 activities 

2014

Click her for a link to 2014 activities

 2015

EMORY BRAIN HEALTH CENTER - A World Class Collaborative Community

Earlier this year, the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression and the Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic moved to 12 Executive Park Drive N.E. 5th Floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30329 as part of Emory’s Brain Health Center.

Emory’s Brain Health Center consolidates specialists working together to predict, prevent, and manage or cure disorders involving the brain.  These range from depression and other mental disorders to stoke, autism, sleep problems, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and other movement disorders, ALS, addiction, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s, and brain tumor or injury among others. 

The center combines three missions of care, research, and education in work that is focused continually on the needs of patients and their families.  The center’s research is informed in real time by its patient care and vice versa. 

Chronic neurological and psychiatric conditions are predicted to be the overwhelming health problem in this country for the next half-century.  With more than 400 researchers and clinicians, an impressive track record in innovative treatments, and new funding for research, Emory’s Brain Health Center is positioned to help change the outlook for patients with these disorders. 

The new location is easily accessible from Interstate 85 and is about three miles north of the former location at Wesley Woods.  Parking is free and complimentary valet service is available.  Click here for a map to 12 Executive Park

Click here to learn more about the Brain Health Center and watch a video about the Fuqua Center and its work. 

 Click here for a link to other 2015 activities

 

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