The American Academy of Nurses has recognized four nurse practitioners from the UCLA Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Program for their innovations in patient care.

Leslie Chang Evertson, geriatric nurse practitioner the program’s lead dementia care manager; Mihae Kim, adult geriatric nurse practitioner; Michelle Panlilio, geriatric nurse practitioner; and Kelsey Stander, adult geriatric nurse practitioner were named “Edge Runners” for designing models of care that serve to improve health, lower health care costs and influence policy related to Alzheimer’s and dementia care.

“All of us in the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care program are extremely honored to be recognized by the American Academy of Nursing as ‘Edge Runners,’” Evertson said. “We are proud of our nurse-practitioner-led model of care and have carried the pride for what we do into every relationship we foster with UCLA patients with dementia and their families, and have done so for over six years.”

Specifically, the academy cited the nurses’ holistic approach toward caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This approach incorporates both patients’ and caregivers’ physical and mental health, allowing them to “navigate the diagnosis, progression, and prognosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias,” according to a statement from the academy.

The approach is working. According to the academy, 96 percent of caregivers felt the program gave them the support they needed and 87 percent of doctors surveyed said they would recommend the program to other patients and their families.