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Wake Forest Baptist and Salemtowne Retirement Community Aim for Healthy Aging

Winston-Salem seniors will have increased access to state-of-the-art healthy aging programs, thanks to an agreement in the works between Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Salemtowne Retirement Community.

The two organizations plan to collaborate on comprehensive wellness programs at the Salemtowne campus.

Through its J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation, Wake Forest Baptist currently provides primary care to Salemtowne’s residential living, assisted living and long-term care residents. Wake Forest Baptist physician Sarah Redding, M.D., holds clinic hours two to three times a week at the retirement community and also oversees the care coordination of Navigation by Salemtowne, a continuing care program for seniors in the wider community in their homes.

Wake Forest Baptist faculty and staff from the Sticht Center regularly present public lectures on successful aging at Salemtowne. The center also invites residents to participate in research studies.

The organizations recently signed a letter of intent to investigate further partnership opportunities. Among the ideas being considered is development of an evidence-based successful aging program for residents that will combine Wake Forest Baptist's assessments of gait, balance and physical performance with Salemtowne's holistic approach, which emphasizes the social, intellectual, spiritual and physical dimensions of wellness. 

The partners are also discussing bringing the medical center's clinical expertise and research on brain health to Salemtowne's memory support program, a key part of the new health care and rehabilitation center expected to open on the Salemtowne campus in 2017.  

“We have a long-standing relationship with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center,” said Mark Steele, president and CEO of Salemtowne. “This new opportunity allows us to explore together how we can better serve older adults and find ways to improve the quality of life for this growing population in the future.”

The prospect of future research into successful aging – and the opportunity to apply that research at Salemtowne – is a major draw for both organizations.

“We are looking at our existing research on aging programs to see if our affiliation with Salemtowne will lead to additional research opportunities,” said James Hoekstra, M.D., vice president, network clinical affairs at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “The more research results we can integrate into a local and national care model, the better chances researchers have to find answers to new questions that arise regarding best practices for providing prevention and treatment in our nation’s rapidly aging population.”

Wake Forest Baptist’s gerontology and geriatric medicine program based at the Sticht Center is a national leader in aging and cognition and offers patients a myriad of leading-edge clinical and research programs at one of the earliest established geriatrics-focused facilities in the United States.

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