A Brief History: For more than 20 years, the Integrace Institute at Copper Ridge has been dedicated to excellence in supporting those with Alzheimer’s and dementia through research and education. Our innovative research, findings, and programs have been internationally renowned, and more importantly have helped improve the quality of life for those living with these disorders and their care partners. Partnerships through the years have included The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Erickson School of Aging at UMBC, Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care program and many others. This expanded emphasis will create new opportunities to empower care partners and professionals to support meaningful living for those on this journey. In 2014, the parent company of the Copper Ridge Institute, EMA changed its name to Integrace to better reflect its new direction for the future. As part of this strategic process, the Copper Ridge Institute changed its name to compliment the new brand and bright future of Integrace. And so it was renamed: The Integrace Institute at Copper Ridge. To that end, you now see a new, updated website that reflects our mission, values and vision for the future. This transformation is founded on our Integrace Pathways© philosophy, a model of living rooted in our belief that each person should have the freedom and be empowered to live in a way that is most natural to them. Our new vision statement reflects that philosophy: Shaping a world where every individual is seen through the lens of their potential. As we move forward, we look to a future full of opportunities, new relationships and partnerships. We envision a future that positively changes the landscape for those living with neurocognitive disorders and their loved ones. Interview with Executive Director, Dr. Tabassum Majid:
- What is the mission of the Integrace Institute? In simple terms, our mission is educate and empower our families, residents and colleagues to tell their story and turn it into data that can transform lives. In official terms, we do this by advancing transformational neurocognitive care practices through person-centered research and education.
- As you begin your role as the Executive Director what do you foresee for the future of the Integrace Institute over the next five years? The Institute is an incredible arm of Integrace that has grown and changed with the mission of the organization as a whole as well as the changing aging services landscape. I foresee us forging partnerships with advocacy organizations, universities, technology and pharmaceutical companies all over the nation to bring about a transformation in both education and research. We are so excited to have reached over 500+ participants in research and education initiatives in 2017 alone – I anticipate we will be able to touch many more lives over the coming years.
- Can you give an overview of the current research studies & education opportunities available for care partners and health professionals in the greater community?
The research studies that we are currently conducting fall in three areas:
- care practice or what I like to call “practical” research studies – this includes interviews, focus groups, and decision-making tool testing with family members and couples who have just started on their journey as well as colleagues who are caring for them;
- technology studies or “invention” research studies – understanding how individuals prefer to use technology and how they may contribute to its development;
- treatment related or “intervention” research studies – studies involving a range of individuals with neurocognitive disorders with experimental diagnostic indicators, treatments, and therapies.
Our education falls into two main buckets with one philosophy, and that is that it is all evidence-based and updated yearly:Caregiver Education: We really focus on topics that the community caregivers want, and that organizations closest to them can pick. Some examples include: Decision Making and Preferences in Care, Imaging and Biomarkers, and Living the Journey Professional Education: This type of education focuses on special topics within the realm of neurocognitive support. Some examples include our annual Life Transitions Program, a Neurocognitive Disorders Series, and our Annual Person-Centered Research Forum communicating all of the latest findings in Maryland.
- Why do you feel research is important to people living with neurocognitive impairments? Having lived the journey myself with my family members, I know that it can be an emotional roller coaster. Research, to me, brings hope and promise that there are always new approaches to try that will truly make a difference in lives today while than waiting for the cure, which may come later than tomorrow.
- How can I become involved in a research study? You are more than welcome to call the Institute directly, we will get back to you and listen to how we can best meet you where you are in your journey. Our number is 410-552-3218 or you can visit us on our website at www.integraceinstitute.org. We have a description of every research study on our website that we are currently conducting with information on how to be involved in any of them.
- What happens to the findings of all the research studies conducted at the Integrace Institute Copper Ridge? When a collaborator agrees to partner with us, they also agree to give back their findings to the greater community. We ask that they communicate to two audiences, one being our internal Integrace family and the other being local professionals. They are asked to present a summary that is then available to the general public about what they have found in the course of their work.