AAPA, PA Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, and Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative Release Early Cognitive Assessment Toolkit

ALEXANDRIA, VA (Nov. 1, 2023) – The American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), PA Foundation (PAF), Cleveland Clinic, and Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC) today publicly released an early cognitive assessment toolkit. The toolkit can be accessed by both providers and patients with the aim of improving clinical workflow and increasing rates of cognitive assessment in primary care settings.

The public launch comes after the toolkit was tested at select urban and rural clinics across the country earlier this year, which demonstrated an improvement in cognitive screening rates in a primary care setting. During the testing period, feedback was collected from providers to ensure the toolkit could be easily transferred and used in practice.

Here are some of the key findings from the testing period:

  • Patients aged 65 or older who were offered a cognitive screening during a yearly wellness exam increased to 100%.
  • Patients aged 65 or older who were offered a cognitive screening during any type of primary care medical visit increased from 30% to 39%.
  • 82% of providers who tested the toolkit said they plan to change their screening practices.

In 2022, AAPA, PAF, and Cleveland Clinic were among 12 DAC grant recipients. The grants aimed to advance how healthcare systems worldwide detect, diagnose, treat, and care for people with or at risk for Alzheimer’s.

As part of the grant, AAPA, PAF, and Cleveland Clinic created a cognitive assessment toolkit to increase cognitive screening rates in older adults by equipping providers, especially those in a primary care setting, with the skills needed to perform and interpret the assessments.

“Cognitive decline diseases, including Alzheimer’s, are some of the most pressing healthcare issues we face today as our aging population continues to grow,” AAPA CEO Lisa M. Gables, CPA, said. “By equipping providers with tools to identify cognitive decline earlier, we can help to ensure patients get access to groundbreaking treatment sooner, and families receive additional time to plan with their loved ones.”

“There is variability in practice of how dementia is diagnosed in primary care, which can result in a delayed or missed diagnosis,” said Saket Saxena, MD, a geriatrician at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Geriatric Medicine, who helped develop the toolkit. “The development of this cognitive assessment toolkit allows providers to readily address cognitive concerns in older adults and implement best practices for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. This collaboration with DAC and our partners at AAPA will help support and equip providers who are at the forefront of delivering care to older adults in the U.S.”

“This collaboration with AAPA, PAF and the Cleveland Clinic enables providers to identify cognitive decline earlier, offering hope for patients and their families, and is an important contribution to the field – one that the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative intends to link and scale globally,” said George Vradenburg, founding chairman, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative.

Media ContactJosh Birch, 443.614.5896

About the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA)
AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs (physician associates/physician assistants). PAs are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in every specialty and setting. Trusted, rigorously educated and trained healthcare professionals, PAs are dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and wellness through patient-centered, team-based medical practice. PA has been named one of the best jobs overall and one of the best healthcare jobs for the sixth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report. The PA profession ranked number three this year in Best STEM jobs. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage through FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter.

About the PA Foundation
PA Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that promotes better health and wellness by providing PAs and PA students with philanthropic opportunities and resources. It is the philanthropic arm of the AAPA, representing a profession of more than 169,000 PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the uniformed services.

About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million total outpatient visits, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

About the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative
Launched at the World Economic Forum’s 2021 meeting on The Davos Agenda, The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder partnership committed to aligning stakeholders with a new vision for our collective global response against the challenges Alzheimer’s presents to patients, caregivers and healthcare infrastructures. Convened by The World Economic Forum and The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and fueled by a mission of service to the estimated 150 million families and half a billion people inevitably impacted by this disease by 2050, DAC is a collaborative for the benefit of all people, in all places.