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Fleming Memory Center: A New Resource for Patients With Dementia and Their Families

The Fleming Memory Center – a new 5,300-square-foot facility at LVH–17th Street – will centralize clinical, educational and support services for people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The first of its kind in the area, the center will serve as a hub for a coordinated community network that will meet the unique and often changing needs of people with dementia, their families and principal caregivers. New patients will be seen in the center beginning in November.

“I’m sure many people know someone affected by this illness, and some who have died of it or are living with it,” says LVHN president and chief executive officer Brian Nester, DO, MBA, FACOEP. “We need to act on this growing problem, and we will.”

The center’s construction was funded by Richard (Dick) Fleming of Zionsville. His wife, Peggy, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2002 and succumbed to it in 2008. Following Peggy Fleming’s death, Richard Fleming vowed to fix the system of fragmented care and support they experienced during his wife’s six-year illness.

“When I asked the experts what could be done, the response was, ‘We don’t know,’” says the long-time LVHN trustee about the help he had sought. A former executive at Air Products, Fleming also gave start-up funding for program development at the center. His gift totaled $1.27 million.

The center features six exam rooms, geriatric and dementia experts, and space for consults, meetings, education and caregivers. The center will include:

  • Targeted education for clinicians, caregivers and the community
  • Larger clinical evaluation and care space
  • More hospital-based services to quickly identify people with dementia and initiate their care
  • Collaboration among community partners to integrate and use pertinent community services
  • A memory support team, comprising a geriatrician, clinical nurse specialist, social worker, patient liaison, dietitian and support staff
  • Innovative services, including computerized “brain fitness” training for retaining memory and language skills
  • Family and caregiver education programs
  • Research to enhance dementia diagnosis and treatment, as well as family support

“The Fleming Memory Center will serve our community and be a model for other communities,” says Debbie Salas-Lopez, MD, LVHN’s associate chief medical officer. “Dick’s wise leadership, passion for better medicine and financial generosity will have a profound and lasting impact on patient care and support at LVHN and in our community.”

A fellow LVHN trustee, Rev. Jeff Aiken recalls how Fleming’s vision for the center stemmed from the pain and suffering of his wife – and his family – during their arduous journey with Alzheimer’s. “Dick was determined to find a way to create this center,” Aiken says. “This is a lasting gift from Dick, and a partnership linking people and resources not only from the health network, but also throughout our community.”