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Courtney Harold Van Houtven

Professor in Population Health Sciences
Population Health Sciences
Duke Box 3240, Durham, NC 27708
2424 Erwin Rd, Hock Plaza, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Presentations & Appearances

Developing and Sustaining an Effective and Resilient Oncology Careforce: A Workshop - NASEM · February 12, 2019 - February 12, 2019 National Scientific Meeting NASEM, Washington, DC

Discussing value of interprofessional team-based care for people with serious illness, including persons with cancer and their caregivers

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship

Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - Transforming Alzheimer's Disease Care through Integrating Caregivers · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Brain & Society

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that damages and eventually destroys brain cells, leading to a loss of memory, thinking, other brain functions and ultimately life. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only one of the top ten diseases without treatment to prevent, cure or slow its progression. Alzheimer’s disease does not only impact those with the disease, but also their caregivers. As the disease progresses, the loss of critical skills make navigating day-to-day living impossible without help from others. Family caregivers or “informal caregivers” provide the majority of long-term care for adults with the disease. Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s disease can take a heavy toll on the health, well-being, employment and finances of caregivers. While caregivers are a crucial part of the care equation, their work is often not well supported or coordinated with medical assessments or care plans. For example, caregivers are not currently included in the medical records of patients or involved in monitoring outcomes. When patients are no longer able to report outcomes for themselves, there is not currently a way to transition to caregiver-reported outcomes. This creates a missed opportunity for physicians and other stakeholders to gather additional information on Alzheimer’s diseasepatients. Incorporating input from caregivers could help build a more complete picture of the patient and potentially improve care.